People living with knee, hip or back pain

What is the ESCAPE-pain programme?

ESCAPE-pain stands for Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise. It is an award-winning, group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain that integrates education and exercise.

It helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple ways to help themselves, and learn how to manage pain.

What programmes are available?

ESCAPE-pain offers two programmes:

  • ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips, designed to benefit people with chronic knee/hip pain
  • ESCAPE-pain for backs, designed to benefit people with chronic low back pain

What can I expect from an ESCAPE-pain class?

  • 2 classes per week for six weeks (12 classes in total).
  • Class size is usually about 8–10 people.
  • 20-minute group discussion around a specific topic relating to joint pain.
  • 40 minutes of a supervised simple circuit-type exercise programme.

How do I join an ESCAPE-pain class?

ESCAPE-pain is delivered in a variety of locations (including physiotherapy departments, leisure centres, gyms, church halls and community centres) by professionals, such as physiotherapists, osteopaths and fitness instructors.

Check our site maps to see if there is an ESCAPE-pain provider in your area and contact them directly to find out when they are running their next programme.

  • Site map for knees and hips programme (See here)
  • Site map for backs programme (See here)

Digital Support Tools (for the knees and hips programme)

We have developed digital support tools to help people continue exercising safely in their homes. These free tools have been produced for the NHS by the Health Innovation Network and Salaso Solutions Ltd. See here for more information.

The digital support tools are provided for reference only. They are not to be used as the sole basis for treatment, prescription and care of your condition and health. They should be used in conjunction with the advice and professional judgment of your GP or other healthcare practitioner.

Supporting documents

Frequently Asked Questions

ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips

Frequently Asked Questions

ESCAPE-pain for backs

Participant Infographic

ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips

Participant Infographic

ESCAPE-pain for backs

What our community has to say

ESCAPE-pain has changed my life a great deal actually and I’m just over the moon about it.

I can get up the curb now, which is something I thought I’d never do, and that was my goal.

It has opened up my eyes, it’s opened up like another life really, for me.


The ESCAPE-pain programme has been brilliant and I’m honestly disappointed it’s come to an end. Doing the exercises with people experiencing the same kind of issues has kept me motivated. It’s a group effort and the trainers explain everything very well.

Who would have thought me at my age would be using the gym, but I am and I feel better for it, my back isn’t as tight and I can walk further, still with a stick but in less pain. I would recommend this programme for anyone with a back problem.