Internationally acclaimed program for osteoarthritis launched in Canada

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Toronto, September 16, 2016 – The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation (COF) and its division, Bone and Joint Canada, today announced the introduction of GLA:D™ Canada, a program aimed at helping those living with osteoarthritis (OA). The launch of the program was held at the University of Toronto’s Department of Physical Therapy.

Developed and clinically tested in Denmark, GLA:D® is an education and tailored exercise program that has been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of knee and hip OA by up to 32%. The program is effective for all stages of the disease and is being launched in Ontario through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, making Canada the first country in the world outside of Denmark to adopt and deliver the program.

More than 4.4 million Canadians are living with OA, and the problem is expected to worsen: this number is expected to rise to more than 10 million (or 1 in 4) Canadians by 2040. National and international guidelines for treatment of osteoarthritis recommend education and exercise as first level treatment to all those experiencing symptoms. Despite these guidelines and compelling research, Canada has no clinical guidelines for the treatment of OA.

Following participation in the program “Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark” (GLA:D) participants have reduced pain and improved physical activity. Use of painkillers and sick leave are also reduced. Through its knowledge translation division, Bone and Joint Canada, the COF will train and certify physiotherapists and registered kinesiologists to deliver the program in public and private rehabilitation clinics and wellness centres across the province. It is anticipated that the program will then provide relief to thousands of OA patients across Ontario within the next three years.

According to Dr. Aileen Davis, Senior Scientist, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network and lead researcher for the GLA:D Canada program, “We finally have a program that is clinically proven to reduce the progression of symptoms and improve quality of life for those with OA.  This has the potential of bringing relief to thousands of Canadians living with OA today. Data collected over the next three years, will help us understand the impact of delivering evidence-based OA care on Ontarians and the health system.”

Health care professionals and OA patients can learn more about the GLA:D™ Canada program at

For more information, contact:

Rhona McGlasson, Executive Director

Bone and Joint Canada,, phone:  647 537 8664