Chronic joint pain, or osteoarthritis, affects one in five of the population over the age of 50, and one in two over 80 in the UK. This condition causes considerable suffering and distress and can reduce quality of life.
Only a small proportion (about 5% of the eight to ten million sufferers in the UK) proceed to surgical intervention. Most are managed in the community, usually with painkillers, which are both unpopular with patients and potentially harmful. One in four GP appointments are estimated to be related to joint pain.
ESCAPE-Pain is an evidence-based, group rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic joint pain resulting from knee and / or hip osteoarthritis.
The ESCAPE-pain programme runs over 5-6 weeks offering 10-12 supervised sessions for a group of participants who receive education and take part in a tailored exercise programme. The programme measures a range of clinical outcomes, and participants are signposted to services to help them continue to progress.
The ESCAPE-pain programme is offered by some physiotherapists in NHS facilities and now increasingly is being delivered to people in leisure centres and other community venues, offering easier access away from clinical settings.
In 2017, ESCAPE-pain was selected to join the NHS Innovation Accelerator to encourage spread and adoption of the programme. In addition ESCAPE-pain has been selected as one of the seven priorities to be adopted and spread across the AHSN Network during 2018-2020. It has also been awarded £392,000 funding from Sport England to help reduce inactivity in older adults.