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ESCAPE pain provides free online programme to help patients manage joint pain

Published: 23 June 2020

Professor Mike Hurley, Professor of Rehabilitation at the Joint Faculty,  devised ESCAPE-pain - a rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain of the knees and hips. The programme, usually delivered through face-to-face group classes, has been in place since 2014 and has been used by around 20,000 people and  is now in over 290 venues across the UK including Physiotherapy Outpatient Departments, leisure or community venues.  

The COVID-19 epidemic has meant these venues have been forced to suspend face-to-face classes, which has encouraged the team to find new ways of supporting people with knee and hip pain who are now confined to their homes. The free ESCAPE-pain smartphone app and online programme are now helping people remain active and manage their joint pain during this time 

The app contains exercise videos alongside easy-to-follow instructions, so that users can complete the exercises safely in their own homes, as well as educational videos to help users better manage their condition and charts to track progress and see improvements over time. Those using the online programmes can join online group sessions. Both tools include a 6-week programme, with 2 sessions each week.  

Professor Hurley, who is currently seconded to the Health Innovation Network, reports that the programme has seen almost a 300% increase in use of the digital programmes since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.   He adds, “ESCAPE pain has a number of resources which are particularly helpful to the elderly and those who are less mobile. With waiting lists for knee and hip replacements being exceptionally high at the moment, this tool will help people manage their condition until normal face-to-face sessions can resume”. 

You can find out more about ESCAPE pain at

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