GLA:D BACK Alberta



What is GLA:D Back? 


GLA:D® BACK is a treatment option for patients with persistent or recurrent low back pain that affects everyday life. The program was developed by researchers and clinicians at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

The program follows clinical guideline recommendations for the treatment of patients with back pain and is based on principles of self-management similar to GLA:D® for patients with knee and hip pain.

GLA:D® BACK consists of:

  1. EDUCATION of chiropractors and physiotherapists in running GLA:D® BACK courses for patients.
  2. TREATMENT PROGRAM consisting of education and a structured exercise program
  3. REGISTRATION of patient data in the GLA:D® registry

The purpose of GLA:D® BACK is to help patients manage their back pain better themselves through a well-described and structured course of treatment. In Alberta, the program is available to physiotherapists, chiropractors and kinesiologists to offer patient education and exercise based on the best evidence. Data from the program is entered in a secure aclinical registry so that together, we create new knowledge about back pain and that GLA:D® BACK can be continuously improved.

Patient education and supervised exercise for patients with persistent or recurrent back pain are recommended as first-line interventions in several international guidelines based on expert reviews of hundreds of randomized controlled trials. Patient education and exercise have positive effects on back problems and little risk of harms. At the same time, education and exercise have been shown to prevent new episodes of back pain. Evidence and theories behind GLA:D® BACK have been published in several academic journals.

GLAD BACK Development, Theories and Scientific Evidence

The program is designed for patients with persistent and/or recurrent back pain that negatively affects their everyday life and function. The patient and the therapist jointly decide whether GLA:D® BACK is relevant. As with any other treatment, the decision about patient participation in a GLA:D® BACK course is based on a clinical assessment and patient preference.


The history of the GLA:D® BACK Program in Alberta - and for Canada...

In 2019, the GLA:D Back Pilot Program was launched in Alberta. As a result, 33 physiotherapists and chiropractors were trained in a pilot program who then delivered the program successfully to persons with low back pain in Alberta (Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2021 ).

With the pilot study complete, the University of Alberta has licensed GLA:D Back and is offering the course to physiotherapists, chiropractors and kinesiologists* throughout Alberta. 

Over the next 2 years, GLA:D Back Canada will be expanded to other interested provinces in Canada. 


Looking for GLA:D Back Classes?

Click on the City or Town nearest you to see certified GLA:D Back Clinicians. Note that some Clinicians offer classes by telehealth, so as long as you live in Alberta, you may be able to participate virtually!


Calgary & Surrounding Area

Emma Smith, MSc, CSEP-CEP
Active Living, University of Calgary

Kelly Barrie, PT --- Diane Roylance, PT --- Kayla Skjerdal, PT
Fifth Ave Physio
250, 400 - 4th Ave SW Calgary T2P 0J4

Momentum Health – multiple clinic locations across the Calgary area
To book into the next available GLA:D Back course, please contact:
403-455-0025 or
GLA:D Back Certified Clinicians at Momentum Health:
Alisha Mohamed-Kassam, Physiotherapist
Amy MacDonald, Kinesiologist
Caterina Lerede, Chiropractor
Dan Matchullis, Physiotherapist
Eli Silva, Physiotherapist
Jennifer Kelemen, Kinesiologist
Marie-Pier Begot Coladon, Physiotherapist
Nicole Smith, Kinesiologist
Scott Nicol, Chiropractor
Shahin Pabani, Physiotherapist
Shaun Macauley, Physiotherapist
Victoria McArthur, Chiropractor

Rebecca-Jane McAllister, DC, BHK (Hons)
#105, 11500 29th Street SE, Calgary AB, T2Z 3W9

Taylor Pratile, Chiropractor, BA, DC, MSc 
Innovative Sport Medicine, 6707 Elbow Dr SW #110, Calgary, AB T2V 0E3
(403) 452-5757

Viral Dalwadi, Physiotherapist 
Abbeydale- 814 68 St NE, Calgary AB T2A6X7
Phone (587) 885-1292
Revital Health Physiotherapy and Massage
100 Rainbow Road #106, Chestermere AB T1X 0V2   Ph. (403) 455-5275

Edmonton & Surrounding Area

Alampreet Sunner, PT

Bita Mozayan-Bashman, PT Health Educator, BSc
AHS Supportive Living
Cell (780) 975-5430; Work (780) 566-2816

Brandyn Powelske, PT
University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Christina Bayley
Whitecourt Well Chiropractic
780 665-5123

Cindy Cinats, PT
Hawkstone Physical Therapy

Emily Gordon, PT
Erika Manahan, BKin (Professional Kinesiologist)
Leading Edge Physiotherapy, Capilano Location, Edmonton, AB

Jen Glumpak, PT
University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

James Lemieux D.C., M.Sc. R.S.
Aspen Chiropractic
780 722 3017

Kostadinos Kakarelis, Chiropractor
Lacina Barsalou, Chiropractor

Matt Carson, DC
MVMT Physio and Chiro
60 Green Grove Drive, St. Albert, Unit 210
ph: (780) 809-4920

Miles Morgan, Physiotherapist
REP Physio
23 Fairway Dr. NW
Edmonton, AB T6R 2S6
780 244 1095

Murali Krishnan Avilineni, PT, Physiotherapist and Clinic Manager, BPT, MSc, MClsc - CMP, FCAMPT
Walkerlakes Sports Plus Physiotherapy (780) 466-9902
Windermere Massage & Sports Physiotherapy (780) 760-3456


Peter Shipka,B.Sc.,DC, CPMA, C.Dir.
Riverview Chiropractic Clinic
120-39 St. Thomas Street, 
St. Albert, Alberta
T8N 6Z1
(780) 460-2200


Ravi Rathinasamy, Physiotherapist, MPT (Aus), CGIMS, FCAMPT

Sunrise Physical Therapy
(780) 960-8711

Robert Tenhove, DC
Custom Care Chiro & Performance Therapy
13457 149 ST NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5L 2T3
t: 780 250 2273

Ruben San Martin, PT, MScPT
Connect Physiotherapy & Exercise
6316 106 Street, Edmonton, AB, T6H2V3
(587) 416-3332

Sarah Harding, PT
MVMT Physio and Chiro
60 Green Grove Drive, St. Albert, Unit 210
ph: (780) 809-4920

Sylvia Cao, PT
University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Fort Macleod
Aaron Poytress, DC
Karyn Klut, DC
Shanmugam Sivasankaran (Shan), Physiotherapist
Lamont Health Care Centre
Outpatient Physiotherapy Department
5216, 53 Street
Lamont T0B 2R0
Phone: 780-895-2211 Extn 3120/3118

Andrea Eberhardt, PT --- Matheson Johnston, Exercise Therapist, B Kin, Reg. Kinesiologist
Morinville Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic
780-939-5150 or
Donna Davies, Physiotherapist
Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre
PT Department – OP
Red Deer
Ramit Sharma, Physiotherapist
Rhonda Missikewitz

Camille Giacobbo, Physiotherapist
Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre
PT Department – OP

Shayam Sundar Kuttiyappan, Physiotherapist
Zara Brayer,DC

Primary Care Networks
Edmonton North Primary Care Network
Kevin Jones, Exercise Specialist, BScKin, CSEP-CEP, ACSM CEP, CSCS, CSPS, TSAC-F, CSEP HPS

*accessible by referral only by a Physician belonging to the Edmonton North PCN*

Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network
Jessica Clement, Exercise Specialist, BPE, CSEP-CEP
Lisa Workman, Exercise Specialist, M.A., B.P.E., CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist®, Professional Kinesiologist
Michaela Barkwell B Kin., CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist®
Rhiannon Jacek BSc. Kin, CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist®
Robin Gardener, Kinesiologist
Tye Babb, Kinesiologist
*accessible by referral only by a Physician belonging to the Edmonton Southside PCN*

Edmonton West Primary Care Network


Kevin Thomson, Kinesiologist, Exercise Specialist, BPE, ACSM & CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Kristin Dogterom, Kinesiologist, Exercise Specialist, BAET, CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Terri Wood, Kinesiologist, Exercise Specialist, BHES, CSEP Clinical Exercise Physiologist
*accessible by referral only by a Physician belonging to the Edmonton West PCN*

Sherwood Park Strathcona County Primary Care Network
Cole Gunderson, BSc Kin, ACSM-Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist®, CTE
*accessible by referral only by a Physician belonging to the Sherwood Park Strathcona County PCN*


Looking for GLA:D Hip and Knee Classes? 


Frequently Asked Questions

Is GLA:D® BACK better than other treatment options?

There are many good treatment options for patients with back pain. However, no other programs are as well-described as GLA:D® BACK, and no other program provides systematic registration of outcomes in a clinical registry.

Has GLA:D® BACK been tested?

Yes, the results of the pilot study that took place in 2017 are published in the Journal BioMed Central (BMC) Pilot & Feasibility Studies. The ongoing results are documented and made publicly available in newsletters, annual reports and scientific articles.

GLAD BACK Pilot and Feasibility Study

Who can offer GLA:D® BACK to patients?

GLA:D® is a registered trademark of SDU. The use of the GLA:D® BACK or GLA:D® Knee / Hip trademark requires that the therapist:

  1. Has completed the course from approved trainers
  2. Provides the GLA:D intervention as described
  3. Records data in the clinical registry. Over time, we expect that therapists will be required to be periodically be re-certified in order to continue offering GLA:D® BACK
Should accredited GLA:D® knee / hip practitioners complete the whole GLA:D® BACK training course?
Yes, they should. GLA:D® BACK and GLA:D® Knee / Hip may have the same overall structure, but the content is different.
Is research underway about GLA:D® BACK?

Yes, a comprehensive research program is linked to GLA:D® BACK. The program is described and published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and other scientific jour. There is also an overview of the information and efficacy goals recorded in the clinical register.

Scientific publications can be found at

Which patients can participate in GLA:D® BACK?
At present, a stratification tool is not used in selecting the target group, as it is still unclear how treatment choices are best guided in the patient group seeking care from a physiotherapist / chiropractor. GLA:D® BACK has a dedicated clinical registry, which will be used to explore how to better help particular patient groups. The registry includes, among other things, the ‘START Back Tool’, which is designed to assess whether a patient needs minimal or more comprehensive treatment. Currently, it is up to the individual clinician whether tools such as this should be included as part of their assessment of whether GLA:D® BACK is relevant.
Is GLA:D® only for patients with arthritis?
GLA:D® stands for “Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark”. This is because it was originally a program for patients with osteoarthritis of the knees and hips. GLA:D® includes: 1) patient education and training, 2) courses for licensed clinicians to provide this, and 3) a clinical registry that monitors how participants are progressing. It is these elements, which are also basic elements of GLA:D® BACK, that define the GLA:D® concept, which are not only aimed at osteoarthritis and may be beneficial for a range of patients.
Is it 'one size fits all'?
No, definitely not. Patients with long-term and recurrent back pain are a diverse group with different conditions and different needs. GLA:D® BACK can and must therefore be adapted to the individual patient’s capacity and needs.
Do GLA:D® BACK researchers have a conflict of interest when they develop the program, offer courses and test GLA:D® BACK?

It is quite natural and common for researchers to develop interventions and to be involved in subsequent research of these. Therefore, GLA:D® BACK has established an affiliation with an independent ‘Data Safety Monitoring Board’, which is constantly kept informed and has access to data on patient inclusion and drop-out, patient benefit measured by satisfaction, pain and function, and any unintended events that have occurred in connection with GLA:D® BACK. In addition, there are also researchers who have not been involved in developing the program who conduct research into GLA:D® BACK. None of the researchers involved have personal financial interests in GLA:D® BACK. All potential conflicts of interest are detailed in the protocol article for GLA:D® BACK in the journal BMC Pilot & Feasibility Studies.


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