ESCAPE-pain: Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise

ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant.

ESCAPE-pain offers two programmes:

ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips, designed to benefit people with chronic knee or hip pain.

ESCAPE-pain for backs, designed to benefit people with chronic low back pain.

ESCAPE-pain helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple ways they can help themselves, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope better with pain.

What we do


We support professionals to implement the ESCAPE-pain programme. Read more about how you can become a provider.

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We provide people with knee, hip or back pain with information on local ESCAPE-pain classes that they can join.

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Are you interested in delivering the ESCAPE-pain programme?

The flexibility of ESCAPE-pain means it can be delivered in a variety of locations and by a range of professionals. The programmes have been delivered successfully in outpatient physiotherapy departments, leisure centres and local community settings by physiotherapists, osteopaths and exercise professionals.

In order to attend either training course, providers will need to demonstrate they meet the pre-requisites to attend facilitator training.

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Our next event

20 spaces remaining
ESCAPE-pain facilitator training (backs-half day) 24/09/24

Learn more about the ESCAPE-pain programme:


The ESCAPE-pain programme aims to increase physical function and improve quality of life. The programme will not cure nor eliminate pain completely. However, it aims to help people understand their condition better, and to realise that exercise is a safe and effective self-management strategy.

About the programme


Rigorous evaluation and independent review shows that the ESCAPE-pain programme for knees and hip reduces pain, and improves physical function, general wellbeing and quality of life.

Research papers

Support for the programme

The ESCAPE-pain programme has received endorsements, support, awards, citations and accreditations from a number of national organisations.

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Personal Stories

It’s important for us to share and celebrate how the ESCAPE-pain programme is helping people take control of their pain, self-manage their condition, and return to more physically active lives.

Join our ESCAPE-pain newsletter

The newsletter is sent-out quarterly featuring the latest information and opportunities relevant to participants and providers of the ESCAPE-pain programme.

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What our community has to say

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.

Andy Ireland

Programme leader, Healthiness Limited

People can attend a group that’s not too overwhelming in terms of size and where they’re with other people in similar circumstances. There’s a camaraderie that helps people overcome any initial nervousness and provides plenty of motivation to try new things. I love it when after the programme people decide to walk home together or share car journeys.

Martha Cooke

Physiotherapist, South-West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust