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The ESCAPE-pain programme supports people living with chronic hip and knee pain or back pain. The flexibility of the programme means it can be delivered in a variety of locations and by a variety of professionals. ESCAPE-pain has been successfully delivered in hospital outpatient physiotherapy departments to leisure centres/ gyms, and in community settings such as church halls and community centres.

This information is intended for those who are considering, or have already started, delivering one or both of the ESCAPE-pain programmes:

  • ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips: designed to benefit people with chronic knee/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. Facilitators must be trained in each to deliver both programmes. To learn more about the facilitator training courses, eligibility requirements and schedule of dates/ locations, please see the facilitator training page.

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

The ESCAPE-pain programme

ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips delivers the NICE core recommendations of exercise and education for the management of osteoarthritis. It is an evidence based, cost effective, 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. The programme aims to increase physical function and improve quality of life. It was developed by Professor Mike Hurley and was originally devised for people with knee osteoarthritis.

Robust evaluation including a randomised clinical trial and independent review show the ESCAPE-pain for knees and hips programme:

  • Reduces pain.
  • Improves physical function.
  • Improves the psychosocial consequences of pain.
  • Reduces healthcare and utilisation costs.

ESCAPE-pain for backs was developed in 2019 and 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.

Toggle between the infographics to see the clinical and economic benefits of the ESCAPE-pain programmes.