Enabling Self-management
and Coping with Arthritic Pain
using Exercise


This information is intended for those who might refer people into the ESCAPE-pain programme.

ESCAPE-pain is a group-based, rehabilitation programme for the management of osteoarthritis of the knee and/or hip. It is available widely across the UK and is supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis. The programme has attained multiple awards and endorsements which you can read more about here.

Why refer into the ESCAPE-pain programme?

The programme offers an opportunity to reduce the number of GP consultations for knee and hip pain, and reduce prescriptions of painkillers for this group.

Other benefits - supported by clinical evidence:

  1. Reduces pain
  2. Improves physical function
  3. Improves mental well-being, self-confidence and self-esteem
  4. Reduces healthcare and utilisation costs

How to refer into ESCAPE-pain?

If you would like to refer into the programme please consult our site map to find out what provision there is in your area and how participants can access the programme. We advise contacting your local ESCAPE-pain sites directly to find out what their process for referrals is.

How do the referral pathways work?

In some cases, participants are triaged into the ESCAPE-pain programme, either directly by the MSK triage service, or via the GP, physiotherapy provider or an orthopaedic surgeon.

We also strongly encourage self-referral to the programme.

Eligibilty Criteria 

Please be aware of the following eligibility criteria for possible participants:

  1. Aged 45 years or older
  2. Chronic joint pain for at least 3 months
  3. Needing a supervised exercise programme
  4. Independently mobile and able to carry out regular exercise
  5. Available to attend classes for 6 weeks


The Telegraph published an arthritis feature that recommended ESCAPE-pain as an ideal pathway for osteoarthritis (chronic joint pain). Below is a copy of the publication:


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

Page last reviewed: 21 April 2020. Page last updated: 21 April 2020. Next review date: 1 July 2020