Enabling Self-management
and Coping with Arthritic Pain
using Exercise



​If you are new to ESCAPE-pain email us at hello@escape-pain.org for our Implementation Toolkit or to find out more about how to implement the ESCAPE-pain programme.


The ESCAPE-pain programme is an intervention for people with chronic joint pain, developed by Professor Mike Hurley. The programme is hosted by the Health Innovation Network and supported by NHS England.

The flexibility of the ESCAPE-pain programme means it can be delivered in a variety of locations and by a range of professionals. ESCAPE-pain has been successfully delivered in hospital outpatient physiotherapy departments, leisure centres/gyms, and in community settings such as church halls and community centres.

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

The two programmes complement each other, however they are two separate programmes, with their own evidence, participant eligibility criteria, session content and facilitator training requirements. 


ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips

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 the programme is clinically and cost-effective.

The ESCAPE-pain programme for knees and hips has received the following support/endorsements:

The following resources have been designed to support clinical commissioning groups who might want to consider integrating ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips into their MSK contracts.


                        Cost savings calculator                                         Provider/ commissioner infographic



ESCAPE-pain for backs:

ESCAPE-pain for backs implements the NICE clinical guidelines for the management of low back pain [NG59]. The programme builds upon the strong evidence base behind the original ESCAPE-pain programme for knees and hips, following the same model and structure to help participants self-manage non-specific low back pain. 

The research, evidence, and endorsements for each programme can be found in the ‘about us’ section.

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


Page last reviewed: 26 May 2020. Page last updated: 26 May 2020. Next review date: 1 July 2020