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Innovative NHS exercise classes launch in Teddington to help local people with knee and hip pain

The ESCAPE-pain exercise programme for people living with knee and/or hip pain, also known as osteoarthritis (OA), will launch for the first time in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames next week (8 July 2019). The programme is widely available across England, operating in over 190 sites. Classes are run in a variety of locations from hospital physiotherapy departments to leisure centres and gyms, from church halls to community centres. ESCAPE-pain is an evidence-based group rehabilitation programme (12 sessions twice weekly for six weeks). It improves participants’ function by integrating exercise, education, and self-management strategies to dispel inappropriate health beliefs, alter behaviour, and encourage regular physical activity.

Thousands of people living in Richmond could be eligible to attend the programme. Official figures estimate that in Richmond, 73,645 people have osteoarthritis in the knees and/or hips.

James Pain, Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Teddington Memorial Hospital, said: “We see a large number of people with chronic pain in their knees and/or hips every week at Teddington Memorial Hospital.

“ESCAPE-pain is an innovative NHS programme that teaches people how to deal with their pain through simple exercises to help them live healthier and more active lives. The programme is clinically proven to help people feel better and keep moving. I am delighted that we are able to support residents in the borough of Richmond by setting up this fantastic programme.”

The ESCAPE-pain programme was developed by Professor Mike Hurley and is hosted by the Health Innovation Network. Nationwide scale-up is currently being supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.

Pictured above: Gillian Morgan, participating in an ESCAPE-pain class in south London being delivered by Diane Friday, Active Lifestyles Programme Manager.

Professor Mike Hurley, Clinical Director MSK Programme at the Health Innovation Network said: “ESCAPE-pain is now being delivered in every region in the country, including several sites in other parts of London. We are delighted it is starting to be delivered in Teddington.

“I hope that the many local people currently suffering with knee and hip pain find this innovative approach as helpful in making their lives better as people in many other parts of the country do. We look forward to them sharing their experiences with us.”

Gillian Morgan, 66 years old, from south London attended ESCAPE-pain courses in Beckenham, south London last year, said: “Before ESCAPE-pain my knees felt fragile, it would feel like they would give out, so although I could walk, my knees would click or give way when I was walking and I certainly couldn’t get the bus because I didn’t feel stable enough to do it. Now I can run for a bus.”

“I would recommend ESCAPE-pain absolutely to anybody who’s suffering with osteoarthritis because it’s just learning to help yourself and doing the remedial exercises that you don’t think could possibly help you, but they do.”

To be considered for ESCAPE-pain in Richmond, you will need to be referred to physiotherapy for an assessment and be registered with a Richmond GP.

Find your local ESCAPE-pain class here and read the full article here.