What is the PEAK program?

PEAK stands for Physiotherapy Exercise and physical Activity for Knee osteoarthritis. It is an evidence-based management program for individuals with knee osteoarthritis. The program was created by Professor Rana Hinman and Professor Kim Bennell - both physiotherapists and researchers from the University of Melbourne.

The PEAK program incorporates education, strengthening exercises, and physical activity interventions delivered during five consultations over three months. The program is delivered by physiotherapists in Australia and around the world.


Who is the PEAK program for?

The PEAK program is for individuals with knee osteoarthritis who fulfil the following inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Infogrpahic 1

Inclusion criteria:

  • be 45 years old or older
  • have activity-related knee joint pain
  • have morning knee stiffness ≤ 30 mins
  • Successfully pass the pre-exercise screening questions.

Exclusion criteria:

  • inability to speak English
  • on the waiting list for/planning knee/hip surgery in the next 12 months
  • having a previous arthroplasty on the affected knee
  • recent knee surgery (past 6 months)
  • having undertaken physiotherapy or doing strengthening exercise for knee in the past 6 months
  • self-reported inflammatory arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
  • any neurological condition affecting lower limbs and/or any unstable/uncontrolled cardiovascular condition

Clearance to participate from a general practitioner will be required for anyone who has reported a fall (past 12 months), is housebound due to immobility, or fails to pass the pre-exercise screening questions.

How is the PEAK program delivered?

The PEAK program can be delivered online through tele-health consults via Zoom, or through face-to-face sessions in person at any of our three clinics – Ringwood, Knoxfield, or Yarra Valley.

What does the program involve?

The PEAK program consists of 5 consultations with a trained physiotherapist over the course of 10 weeks. During the consultations, your physiotherapist will assess your current level of function, provide you with education about your condition, monitor and progress a targeted exercise program, and support you throughout your journey. These consultations can be delivered online or in person.

In addition to the consultations, you will also have access to online resources. These resources include videos and a booklet of the exercises, a comprehensive educational booklet about knee osteoarthritis, and a logbook to keep track of your progression.

How is the PEAK program different to GLA:D?

PEAK and GLA:D are both excellent programs based on the best available research for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Both programs result in excellent outcomes but the main differences between the two programs are:

  • Delivery of the program

PEAK can be delivered via tele-health and therefore can be done from home without ever having to attend the clinic. GLA:D on the other hand involves 2 in-person exercise sessions per week for 6 weeks. Therefore, if it is difficult for you to attend the clinic (due to work, life commitments, travel, etc.) PEAK may be more suitable for you. On the other hand, some individuals feel more motivated when attending an in-person program rather than doing it on their own.

  • Number of sessions involved

PEAK consists of 5 sessions over the course of 10 weeks. GLA:D consists of 2 exercise sessions per week over the course of 6 weeks, and an additional 2 educational sessions. Depending on your time commitments, one program may be more suitable than the other.

  • Knee or hip osteoarthritis

The PEAK program is only suited to knee osteoarthritis, whereas GLA:D is designed for both hip and knee osteoarthritis.

What is the evidence behind the PEAK program?

It is well documented in clinical guidelines that physical activity and exercise should be undertaken in all individuals with knee osteoarthritis. The PEAK program is based on these principles and further research by the program’s creators Rana Hinman and Kim Bennell. In their research, Rana and Kim found that individuals who undertook the program showed improvements in pain and function for at least 6 months.

Can I use my Private Health Insurance for the PEAK program?

Yes. If you have extras cover for physiotherapy you can claim each session as you go. The rebate amount will vary depending on your private insurance provider.

Do I need a medical clearance to participate?

You will need a medical clearance from your general practitioner if you have had a fall in the past 12 months, are housebound due to immobility, or fail to pass the pre-exercise screening questions.

Book a PEAK appointment session

Our PEAK  Accredited Physiotherapists

Maddie Stafford
Maddie Stafford
B. Physio. M. Musc. Physio - Neck, Thoracic and Low back pain | Vestibular | Clinical Pilates | Womens health
Julia Truong
Julia Truong
Physiotherapist - Physica Yarra Valley
B. Physio. Clinical Practice - Neck, Thoracic and Low back pain | Hip and knee pain | Shoulder conditions.
Tonya Jones
Tonya Jones
Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist - Physica Ringwood
M. Physio (Musc), B. Physio. Clinical Practice - Neck, Thoracic and Low back pain | Hip and knee pain | Shoulder conditions.
Joshua Jekot
Joshua Jekot
Physiotherapist - Physica Knoxfield
B. Physio (Hons) - Low back pain | Pre and pot operative rehab | Shoulders - Knee and ankle injuries | Falls prevention
Sian Smale
Sian Smale
Lachlan Merrett
Lachlan Merrett
Physiotherapist - Physica Ringwood
B. App Sci, M. Physio. Prac - Low back pain | Neck pain | Hip and knee surgical rehab | Sports Injuries | Hydrotherapy
Sarah Goh
Sarah Goh
PHYSIOTHERAPIST - Physica Knoxfield
B. Physio. - Women's Health | Headaches | Neck Pain | Clinical Pilates | Falls Prevention | Football Injuries
Chris Teh
Chris Teh
Physiotherapist - Physica Knoxfield
B. Physio. (Hons) - Neck Back Pain | Sports Injuries | Knee and Arthritis | Post Surgery Rehab
Trish Edwards
Trish Edwards
Senior Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist - Physica Knoxfield
B. App. Sci(Physio) M. Sports Physio - Shoulder Conditions | Certified PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist | Sports Injuries | Level 1 Lymphoedema Practitioner | Certified PINC Cancer Physiotherapist
Leesa Reid
Leesa Reid
Senior Sports + Exercise Physiotherapist - B. Health Sci (Physio)
B. App Sci (Physio), G. Dip Physio (Sports) - Hip, groin and buttock pain | Lumbar spine and pelvic pain | Knee arthritis | Clinical Pilates
Andi Dowling
Andi Dowling
Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist - Physica Yarra Valley
Daniel Zwolak
Daniel Zwolak
Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist- Partner - Physica Ringwood
M. Physio (Musc), B. Physio - Hip conditions - impingement, labral tears, dysplasia and post surgery rehab (joint replacement and arthroscopy). Shoulder conditions (rotator cuff and frozen shoulder)
Grant Freckleton
Grant Freckleton
Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist- Partner - Physica Ringwood | Physica Knoxfield
M. Physio (Musc.), B. Physio (Hons) - Low Back and Neck Pain | Ankle, Hip and Knee Injuries | Shoulder Pain | Tendon Injuries | Cross Fit and Sports Injuries
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