Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise

Graphic saying that ESCAPE-pain has a new home.

A fantastic partnership between the Health Innovation Network (HIN) and Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) has secured the future of the award-winning ESCAPE-pain programme that helps people with knee, hip and back pain. 

Read more on our news page.

We are thrilled to share that the ESCAPE-pain programme was announced as the winner of the 2021 Self Care Innovation Award by the Self Care Forum.

The announcement was made in the run-up to Self Care Week, which began on the 15 November 2021. Self Care Forum Chair, Helen Donovan, said, "The ESCAPE-pain programme is an effective, scalable way to support people to self-manage osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, or lower back pain. The judges were hugely impressed both by its achievements and by its potential to help people tackle this hugely debilitating condition; we hope it continues to expand as a valuable self care tool for those living with musculoskeletal pain."

Read the full announcement here.


ESCAPE-pain is a 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. 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. 

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. 


Banner of ESCAPE-pain HSJ Value Award for MSK Care Initiative of the Year 2020

ESCAPE-pain clinics for trained facilitators: 


We are hosting monthly support sessions for trained facilitators from new and existing ESCAPE-pain sites who would like implementation support. The one hour sessions are focused on answering questions from facilitators on various topics related to implementation of the ESCAPE-pain programme(s). The sessions are open to facilitators trained to deliver either ESCAPE-pain for knees/hips or ESCAPE-pain for backs.

We will continue to add new monthly dates to the schedule, please register via the links below.

January 20

12:00 - 13:00 Registration link

February 25

12:00 - 13:00 Registration link

March 24

12:00 - 13:00 Registration link

Tips for supporting ESCAPE-pain participants during COVID-19


We'd like to remind you of the availability of the ESCAPE-pain digital support tools which replicate the face-to-face programme and are free to use.

  • ESCAPE-pain Online is the web-based version of the ESCAPE-pain app and is accessed via our website. ESCAPE-pain Online was originally designed to be viewed on a computer but can also be viewed on other mobile devices.

  • ESCAPE-pain app is available on Android smartphones and tablets by searching 'escape pain app' on Google Play

Both tools take users through a six-week programme, with two sessions per week, each containing:

  • Exercise videos with simple, easy to follow exercises with clear instructions that were developed so people could do the exercises safely in their homes;
  • Educational videos with engaging animations giving simple advice and information to help people understand how to better manage their condition;
  • Individual progress chart to track their improvement over time.​

We recommend you read through our ESCAPE-pain support tools guidance which contains our top tips for getting the best out of the ESCAPE-pain support tools before deciding which one you'd prefer to use. 

Supporting people with limited or no access to technology

We recognise many of the tools that are being recommended to support people to keep active in their homes during COVID-19 require access to smart devices, laptops, the Internet etc. In order to support people who do not have access to the Internet or digital devices we have pulled together a list of resources that can be printed out and sent to people, and also some radio and television resources. See our updated information.


ESCAPE-pain e-Learning resources for sites/providers


We have developed two free and interactive ESCAPE-pain e-learning resources, together with Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare.

The resources are aimed at prospective ESCAPE-pain sites/providers.

The first session is aimed at helping interested providers determine how ESCAPE-pain may fit within their organisation and to begin the process towards implementation. The second session is aimed at professionals (healthcare professionals and exercise instructors) who plan to deliver the programme and become ESCAPE-pain facilitators.

The e-Learning resources were commissioned by the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and developed by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare, in collaboration with ESCAPE-pain and the Health Innovation Network.

Read more about the e-Learning resources.


Image of the landing for the ESCAPE-pain e-Learning module 'Are you ESCAPE-pain Ready?'  Image of the landing for the ESCAPE-pain e-Learning module 'Preparing for ESCAPE-pain Training'

Celebrating the ESCAPE-pain programme


To honour the ESCAPE-pain national programme we are sharing four new video case studies from participants around the country, who along with thousands of other people, have made positive improvements to their lives as a result of completing the programme. Hear from Ann, Ray, Eileen and John how their lives have changed. 

For more videos and case studies visit our Personal Stories page.





Versus Arthritis ESCAPE-pain celebratory animation


Versus Arthritis produced an ESCAPE-pain animation to celebrate the programme. Have a look to see what was achieved.


Latest news


Contact us by email at hello@escape-pain.org for more information.

Page last reviewed: 14 January 2022. Page last updated: 14 January 2022. Next review date: April 2022


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