Skip to main content

ESCAPE-pain for backs

What is the ESCAPE-pain for backs programme and how will it help me?

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

ESCAPE-pain for backs is designed to benefit people with chronic low back pain. The programme will not cure, nor eliminate pain completely. However, it aims to reduce pain, improve physical function, self-confidence, sense of being in control of problems, and the depression and frustration that is often felt with chronic pain.

What to expect?

  • ESCAPE-pain for backs is delivered as 2 classes per week for six weeks (12 classes in total).
  • Class size is usually about 8–10 people.
  • Each class usually starts with a brief (15-20 minute) group discussion around a specific topic relating to back pain. This gives you the opportunity to share your experiences with other participants, and discuss the session topic further.
  • The group discussion is followed by around 40 -45 minutes of a simple circuit-type exercise programme. A physiotherapist or an exercise professional will supervise the circuit and tailor exercises to suit your needs.
  • During the first and last session, you’ll be asked to complete some questionnaires about your pain and management. This information is useful to see how much progress you have made, and to keep track of how ESCAPE-pain for backs is helping people.

What to bring?

All exercise equipment will be provided. It’s recommended that you:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear comfortable, flat shoes (e.g. trainers).
  • Bring a water bottle.
  • Bring reading glasses, if you need them.

How to enrol in the programme?

Please use our site map to find your nearest class.

Once you have located a class you are interested in attending, we advise that you call the department/ organisation that is running the class and ask what their referral pathway is. Some locations will allow you to self-refer while others will require that you are referred in through your GP.

Alternatively, you can email us, share your postcode and we will provide you with the ESCAPE-pain for backs classes being delivered, nearest your location.

Have you attended an ESCAPE-pain for backs class?

Please email us at and tell us what you thought of the programme and how it’s affected the way you manage your joint pain.

A compilation of resources and support tools to help you self-manage your low back pain, can be found here:

Visit our frequently asked questions page to learn more about the programme and find answers to commonly asked questions.

If you have knee/hip pain,  please be sure to visit the: ‘I have knee/hip pain’ pages to learn more about the ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips programme.