Enabling Self-management
and Coping with Arthritic Pain
using Exercise


The ESCAPE-pain programme is an intervention for people with knee/hip osteoarthritis developed by Professor Mike Hurley. The programme is hosted by the Health Innovation Network and supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.

ESCAPE-pain delivers the NICE core recommendations of exercise and education for the management of osteoarthritis. The programme was referenced in the original National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines for the Management of Osteoarthritis [2008], and adopted as a case study in NICE’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme [2013]. The NICE guidelines for the care and management of osteoarthritis were revised in 2014 (CG17).

Robust evaluation shows that it is clinically and cost-effective. For further information on the evidence base please see here.

Support for the programme:

  1. ESCAPE-pain is highlighted in the updated NHS England clinical guidance (pages 15-18) on knee arthroscopy for patients with osteoarthritis in their Evidence-Based Interventions: Guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) published in November 2018 and updated in January 2019. The guidance states that exercise programmes like ESCAPE-pain are more effective treatments for patients with osteoarthritis than arthroscopic knee washouts.
  2. ESCAPE-pain is mentioned in the NHS Long Term Plan launched on Monday 7th January 2019. Read our response here.
  3. ESCAPE-pain is referenced in the Public Health England published guidance on musculoskeletal health - 'Musculoskeletal Health: applying All Our Health'



We have developed the following resources to support clinical commissioning groups who might want to consider integrating ESCAPE-pain into their MSK contracts.



Our provider/commissioner infographics shows the clincal and economic benefit of the ESCAPE-pain programme:


For further information please email: hello@escape-pain.org


Webpage last updated: 26 July 2019