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Health Improvement: Escape Pain

Older lady weight training

ESCAPE-pain is a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regime individualised for each participant. It helps people understand their condition, teaches them simple things they can help themselves with, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

Robust evaluation shows that ESCAPE-pain reduces pain, improves physical function, improves the psychosocial consequences of pain and reduces healthcare and utilisation costs. Research trials followed patients for up to 30 months after the end of the programme, and demonstrated continued improvements. Patient feedback is consistently positive.

The programme is currently available in over 50 sites across the UK and it continues to spread. It is easy and inexpensive to set up, and can be delivered in a range of settings, from NHS physio departments to leisure centres to community or church halls.

ESCAPE-pain is NICE and QIPP approved. It was originated by Professor Mike Hurley with a grant from Arthritis Research UK, who have also endorsed the programme and are supporting its rollout. Prof Mike Hurley has recently been awarded the NIA fellowship 2017.

For more information on the programme and training dates please visit the escape-pain website or email

We are looking to recruit sessional trainers to co-deliver the ESCAPE-pain training course to clinicians and exercise instructors who will then go on to implement the ESCAPE-pain programme in their locality. For more information please contact Fay Sibley on

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