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Helping people with joint pain stay active

Posted: - 29th October 2019

More than 1,000 patients have improved their quality of life as a result of participating in our ESCAPE- pain education and exercise programme that helps people manage their joint pain.

Chronic joint pain, or osteoarthritis, is a life inhibiting disease that affects one in five people over the age of 50 and one in two over 80. One in four GP appointments are estimated to be related to joint pain and 20% of GP time is spent helping people manage their joint pain.

In total, £1,562,624* has been saved across the region in health and social care costs over the course of the two-year project.

At the end of March 2020, 48 sites were delivering ESCAPE-pain in the Yorkshire and Humber region. These included NHS outpatients and community clinics, community centres and leisure facilities.

We have funded the training of 130 facilitators including physiotherapists and fitness instructors working in a range of settings to suit local pathways.

Based on feedback from Yorkshire and Humber participants

• 75% have seen an improvement in pain

• 71% have seen an improvement in function

• 54% have seen an improvement in quality of life

ESCAPE-pain is a NICE-approved group rehabilitation programme for people with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis and features a tailored exercise programme supported by education sessions.

Due to COVID-19, all ESCAPE-pain classes had to stop in March. Some sites are now trialling virtual approaches to deliver the programme to participants while social distancing measures are in place. These are temporary measures being delivered by established sites (such as East Riding Leisure), while the face-to-face programme cannot be safely delivered, or until the approach has been evaluated as appropriate for longer term use by the ESCAPE-pain team.

For more information please contact us

Listen to Nicola Parker, a partner involved in delivering the programme across East of Riding Yorkshire, talking about the impact of ESCAPE-pain on people’s lives.



*A research study (Hurley et al 2012) followed people for two and a half years after the programme, and showed that people who had been on the programme had lower healthcare utilisation costs – £1,118 lower per person – two and a half years after completing the programme. Updating these prices to 2016/7 prices (using database), that’s £1,512 per person over a two-and-a-half year period.


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Here's the latest video from Versus Arthritis

Find out more about the ESCAPE-Pain programme