With the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of the GLA:D sites have been helping their patients manage and improve their OA symptoms by completing exercises at home. Patients continue to have difficulties with their daily activities and have lost access to their rehabilitation programs.
The GLA:D program uses neuromuscular exercises which focus on the muscles controlling the joint as it moves. When a person develops osteoarthritis, the muscles around the joints in the lower limb become weaker and do not work properly. For each person this is different and it takes a clinician with experience to see what muscles are not working and to help the individual correct the movement.
The neuromuscular exercises in the GLA:D program are divided into 4 stations: Leg strength, Core strength, Functional and Positional exercises. There is a minimum of 2 exercises done at each station and it is important to do all 4 stations. Each exercise is done slowly with a focus on proper movement so that the individual learns to activate the muscle properly. Clinicians use a number of techniques to help you understand your movement limitations and how to correct them.
Introduction to exercise program:
Station 1: Leg strength
These exercises focus on increasing the strength of the muscles in the leg.
Station 2: Core strength
Strong muscles in the core (abdominal, back and butt) are critical to ensuring stability of the legs and good movement patterns.
Station 3: Positional
These positional exercises re-educate the muscles during movement to ensure they keep the joint in the correct position throughout its range.
Station 4: Functional
There are a number of functional movements including stair climbing and standing from a chair that become limited when an individual develops OA so these exercises focus on functional activities to help increase physical abilities. The goal of these exercises is to help an individual return to the daily activities that are important to the patient.