Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects more than 4.4 million people in Canada (13% of Canadians). OA symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, range of motion loss, and inflammation, resulting in a significant decrease in quality of life. Current evidence-based guidelines for OA management recommend weight loss, patient education, exercise therapy, bracing, viscosupplementation, and anti-inflammatory/pain medications prior to joint replacement surgery. Unfortunately, current practice trends are not consistent with these guidelines and focus largely on joint replacement. Recently, research from a group in Denmark has shown a reduction in the progression of knee OA symptoms, joint related painkiller use, individuals on sick leave, and higher physical activity levels 12 months after a combined patient education and standardized group exercise therapy program (GLA:D®). Based on the Danish success, the GLA:D® program has been made available in Canada. To date it is unclear if the GLA:DTM Canada program will result in outcomes similar to those seen in Denmark, or how the GLA:DTM program compares to existing individualized OA care programs (i.e. JointEffort). This research will answer the following three questions;
Is the GLA:DTM standardized education and exercise program associated with improvements in functional mobility, quality of life, pain management, and inflammatory biomarkers in knee OA patients in Calgary, Alberta?
Is the JointEffort individualized exercise and education program associated with improved functional mobility, quality of life, pain management, and inflammatory biomarkers in knee OA patients in Calgary, Alberta?
Do the improvements in functional mobility, quality of life, pain management, and inflammatory biomarkers in knee OA patients differ between those enrolled in the GLA:DTM and the JointEffort education and exercise programs?