ESCAPE-pain at Healthiness Ltd.
Hear from an ESCAPE-pain provider
Susannah and Andy lead Healthiness Limited, a not-for-profit organisation running the ESCAPE-pain programme in Liverpool. They find that the programme is a good fit with their existing work in the community and often provides a bridge for participants into more advanced exercise programmes. They have even seen ESCAPE-pain participants move on to relatively strenuous activities such as boxercise and dance classes or joining a walking group.
They like how the programme combines exercises with education on pain and medication management and its focus on empowerment – giving people the skills and knowledge to help themselves. They also see the benefits of the group dynamic – how people help and encourage each other to try new things.
According to Andy,
‘Some of the results experienced by the Healthiness Limited team have been remarkable – literally people coming in with walking sticks or frames and then after a few weeks leaving without them because they have forgotten that they were using them. We had one gentleman attending a programme whose ultimate goal was simply to be able to put on his underwear without help – he was not able to bend down, and the pain was too great. His wife had to help him get dressed. He came to us after a few weeks into the programme and said, ‘This morning, I put on my underwear on my own for the first time in about 15 years’. That’s what the programme is all about. He was absolutely delighted that the programme had enabled him to do something that he’d taken for granted he was never going to be able to do again.’
Some of Andy’s participants have even come off the waiting list for a joint replacement because their improvements have been so great. They have been able to improve the strength and power of their legs, which has meant that the pain has improved.