Enabling Self-management
and Coping with Arthritic Pain
using Exercise

Useful links & resources

Arthritis and Pain

  • NHS guidance
    • read the official NHS guidance on Osteoarthritis to learn more about the condition, its symptoms, the treatment and support available, and advice on how to live with the condition.
  • Versus Arthritis 
    • The Versus Arthritis website has an abundance of information, guidance and tips for people living with different types of arthritis. The Osteoarthritis pages can be found here.
    • They also have information specifically on how to manage your pain at home to assist people during the current health crisis.
    • Versus Arthritis also have a dedicated free helpline 0800 5200 520 open Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm. The advisors bring together information and advice about arthritis into one place to provide tailored support. Find out more about the helpline here.  
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) 
    • is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 59,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers. They also have pages aimed at patients and the public.
    • The CSP have also published new resources to support people self-managing their musculoskeletal conditions. These resources are supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the MSK leadership group which also includes the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), the CSP, Versus Arthritis and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA). The resources cover shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, elbow pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain and pain management.
    • For tips on managing your hip pain - see here.
    • For tips on managing your knee pain - see here.
  • Arthritis Action 
    • is a charity offering hands-on, practical help for people with arthritis to improve their quality of life whilst living with the condition. They offer their Members healthy eating advice, clinical appointments, exercise tips and pain management techniques whether or not they are having medical treatment.
  • The Pain Toolkit 
    • comprises a number of resources for healthcare professionals and people living with persistent pain.


Physical Activity 

  • ESCAPE-pain app Exercise Videos
    • ​The exercise videos for the ESCAPE-pain app were designed so that the exercises could be done in a home setting using everyday household items like chairs or steps. They are simple and easy to follow with audio instructions. We've shared them outside of the app so that people who don't wish to follow a structured programme can still benefit from the videos. You don’t have to do them all, choose a few you find easy, then add or drop exercises as you want. Try do them at least twice a week but you can do them more often (several times a day) if you want.
  • NHS Live Well
    • The NHS has an excellent Live Well service with lots of advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing. The exercise pages have lots of tips and videos to get you started.
    • Try the workout videos in the NHS Fitness Studio. Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across their aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories. These workouts have been created by fitness experts InstructorLive and range from 10 to 45 minutes.
    • Or try one of their 10-minute workouts. These equipment-free fitness routines are great to do at home and short enough for you to easily fit them into your daily schedule. There are 6 workouts, 1 for every day of the week if you include a rest day, each working on a different area of your fitness. 
    • There is so much to choose from so explore the website for information and tips on exercises for strong bones, balance exercises, flexibility exercises, easy exercises, sitting exercises, strength exercises and many more!
  • NHS One You
    • Getting exercise doesn't need to be difficult – you don't even need to leave the house! Clear some space in the living room and give these easy 10-minute home workouts a go.
  • Public Health England
    • Have a look at their helpful infographic which details the physical activity guidelines for adults and older adults.
  • Versus Arthritis
    • The Versus Arthritis website has a broad selection of exercises targeting different types of joint pain from wrists, to elbows, feet, hips, knees etc. Click on each link to read more.
    • For knee pain - see here for stretching and strengthening exercises.
    • For hip pain - see here for stretching, strengthening and stabilising exercises.
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) 
    • The CSP have designed a simple set of exercises especially for older people to help everyone stay active at home. Strengthening your muscles will improve your mood, help your sleeping patterns, bring benefits for your overall health and wellbeing and importantly prevent deconditioning.  Getting started is easy, try out the strength and balance six exercises. Get on your feet and do them daily – or at least twice a week!
  • Sport England
    • have shared lots of information, tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home. Join the Movement and use #StayInWorkOut to share how you're getting active during this time.
    • Get active at home - if you scroll down the page there are links to free video resources and activities
    • Get active outdoors - on any given day, you can still go outside for one form of exercise, such as a walk, a run or a cycle, if you're well enough and as long as you’re on your own, or with members of your household. Please always follow the latest official advice on social distancing - which means staying more than two metres from others - and follow the advice on general hygiene. If you're going outside to get fresh air and to get active, you should do so locally, staying close to your home and avoiding places where it may be hard to follow the guidelines.
  • Arthritis Action 
    • have collaborated with wellbeing organisation Oomph! to design a set of chair-based exercises you can do at home. This is part of a programme they developed to encourage people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions to become more active. 
    • Many people living with a long-term health condition also find exercising challenging. To support them, Arthritis Action launched an Exercise and Activity Directory signposting webpage in January 2020 to help people find the help and support they may need within their county to get active.  
  • We are Undefeatable
    • "We Are Undefeatable" is a movement supporting people with a range of long term health conditions, developed by 15 leading health and social care charities. Their purpose is to support and encourage finding ways to be active that work with each person’s conditions, not against them. They have pages dedicated to 'Get Moving Around the Home' - providing ideas for getting active and signposting to other resources. You can also find information about home exercises on their YouTube channel.
  • This Girl Can
    • This Girl Can, funded by The National Lottery, believes that there’s no “right” way to get active. No one gets to choose how you exercise other than you. Your body, your call. And whatever that looks like, they think it’s worth celebrating. Find out their tips in their 'Home Exercise' pages.
  • 10 Today
    • 10 Today is a set of fun 10-minute, audio and video workouts intended to easily fit into your day to help get you stretching and moving at home. It has been designed by and for older people to keep you physically active, boost your wellbeing, and help maintain your mobility and balance, during what we recognise may be an incredibly difficult and lonely time for many. Each routine provides engaging and easy to follow routines that are a great way of staying active within your own home.  They can be done at any time, whether standing up or sitting down, and are adaptable to different fitness levels.
  • Move It or Lose It
    • Move it or Lose it! was founded in 2010 by award-winning exercise instructor, Julie Robinson, who has dedicated her career to motivating thousands of people to keep active in later life. They have loads of information, exercises and guidance on their exercise at home pages. We especially liked their chair-based exercises.
  • The Body Coach TV
    • The Body Coach TV is the home of Joe Wicks’ workouts. He has hundreds of free workouts for all fitness levels. These fun workouts can be done at home with no equipment. Watch his videos on his YouTube channel.
  • British Nordic Walking
    • Nordic Walking is an enhanced walking technique that uses poles to work your upper body as well as your legs. It gives you a highly effective all over workout that doesn’t feel like one! Nordic Walking is a fun and social activity that can be enjoyed in town centres or open countryside throughout the year. Visit the website for more information.
  • Ping! in the Community (Table Tennis)
    • Ping! is on a mission to bring ping pong to the people! Find their ping pong tables in unexpected places on the streets of towns and cities all over England; to join in the fun, simply head for a table and play… it’s absolutely free!


Virtual classes from ESCAPE-pain sites 

You may also want to look at videos or take part in online classes that some of our ESCAPE-pain delivery partners have produced. We aren’t sanctioning any of these in particular, and they are all done at your own risk. Please make sure you are safe and steady and not at risk of falling.

  • Everybody Sport and Recreation - are providing online ESCAPE-pain exercise session workouts, usually delivered in their leisure centres, for people with chronic pain of the knee and hip. Find them on YouTube.
  • Healthiness Ltd - are delivering 15 live online classes per week via their Facebook page as well as uploading 8 different classes onto YouTube for participants to follow. They have been delivering a mixture of sessions from chair-based exercise, Better Balance, Dance, Tone and Boxercise as well as 2 x ESCAPE-pain sessions per week. To see the latest ESCAPE-pain class click here. You can find out more information on their website or follow them on Twitter @LivHealthiness
  • Active Northumberland - have a selection of 20 and 30 minute long exercise sessions on YouTube.
  • Wave Leisure - have produced written guides and videos for those looking for simple exercises to do at home. Whether you'd like to move your legs, arms, or more, these resources will take you through each exercise, explaining how you can gently work each muscle and keep fit at home. You won't require any equipment, but some exercises make use of things you have around your home, such as cushions or tea towels. If you would like to add some weight to your exercises, you could try tins of food or bottles of water. Most of the exercises can be done whilst sitting down. There are a few that involve standing or walking, but these are still gentle and slow paced.
  • Or you may even find that your local leisure centre or gym are offering classes online too – worth checking their website for information on this.


Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • NHS Every Mind Matters
    • Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. Every Mind Matters has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. They have some specific advice aimed at helping people during this current crisis to look after their mental wellbeing whilst staying at home.
  • NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing
    • Useful resources for if you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, or just want to feel happier. The website also has separate information on where to get urgent help for mental health.
  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Mind
    • Mind has produced some really practical guidance on staying mentally well. Their information hub provides advice on how to support your mental wellbeing during this period.
  • Arthritis Action
    • Many people living with a long-term health condition also experience mental health difficulties, such as stress or anxiety. To enable people to find the help and support they may need Arthritis Action have created a mental health directory showing mental health organisations by county. Many of the NHS IAPT teams across the UK are listed as well as local Mind hubs and an array of other charitable organisations and services offering help and support to people experiencing mental health difficulties.
  • Rethink Mental Illness 
    • Their aim is to improve the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through a network of local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning. They have shared some tips on 'Managing your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak' in this new blog.


Healthy Eating

  • NHS Eatwell Guide 
    • The Eatwell Guide is an NHS resource which shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. You do not need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week.
    • For some more general tips on eating a healthy, balanced diet see here. This is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
    • Find out more about your 5 a day and drinking plenty of fluids.
  • British Dietetic Association
    • The BDA have created Food Fact Sheets, written by dieticians, to help you learn the best ways to eat and drink to keep your body fit and healthy. There are many to choose from depending on what you're interested in. There is a Food Fact Sheet dedicated to the most common arthritic condition, osteoarthritis. The guidance here focuses on the role diet has in managing symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • Versus Arthritis
    • Although there are no diets or dietary supplements that will cure your arthritis, some people do find that their symptoms improve as a result of changing what they eat. But because people are all different and there are many different types of arthritis, what works for one person and one type of arthritis may not work for another. Research has discovered several links between arthritis and diet, so it’s worth thinking about what you eat. Read the guidance here on the Versus Arthritis website.
  • Arthritis Foundation
    • The Arthritis Foundation shares healthy eating tips for people living with Arthritis. They highlight the 12 best foods for fighting inflammation and boosting your immune system to ease the condition.
  • Healthline
    • Healthline shares information covering all facets of physical and mental health. In these pages they look specifically at the link between diet and Osteoarthritis. 


Relaxation Techniques 

  • Headspace app 
    • Headspace is a guide to everyday mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Choose from hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health — including short SOS meditations for when you’re on the go.
  • Calm app 
    • Calm is an app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. It is a great mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes so you can choose the perfect length to fit with your schedule.
  • The Mindfulness app
    • The Mindfulness app helps you to train and practise Mindfulness wherever you are. The app offers you the 16 most used guided Mindfulness Meditations (400 minutes of audio).
  • Stop, Breathe and Think
    • Stop, Breathe & Think is a meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace anywhere. It allows you to check in with your emotions, and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel.
  • Breathworks
    • Breathworks are a registered charity who are passionate about helping people living with pain, illness and stress to re-claim their lives. They do this through mindfulness and compassion training including courses, products and teacher training.


Online communities

  • ESCAPE-pain Facebook page 
  • ESCAPE-pain East of England Facebook page
  • Health Unlocked: Arthritis Action
    • ​Is a large social network for health, with 1 million members across the globe, and growing. They connect people with the same health conditions, where they can share experiences and get answers to questions about their chronic conditions and wellbeing needs - empowering people with knowledge for enhanced self-care. This link is to their Arthritis Action page which has over 5,000 members.
  • Versus Arthritis Online Community
    • An online community for people living with arthritis and people caring and supporting those living with arthritis to share experiences and ask questions. A safe space for people living with arthritis to access and give support.


Clinical Resources


Free Pedometers

  • iPhone or iPad (from the App Store) - Stepz
  • Android (from Google Play) - Pedometer


Page last reviewed: 14 May 2020. Page last updated: 14 May 2020. Next review date: 1 July 2020