Escape Pain

One in five people aged over 50 years have chronic joint pain due to osteoarthritis and this rises to one in 2 of over 80s. ESCAPE-pain is an award-winning exercise programme that helps patients feel more in control of their pain, and more able to do things they enjoy.

An app version of the programme, which has been downloaded more than 1,000 times, features the exercise videos that can help improve mobility and reduce knee and hip pain.

Produced for the NHS by the Health Innovation Network and Salaso Health Solution Ltd, the ESCAPE-pain app is available free from the Apple App Store, where you can find it by searching for ESCAPE-pain or clicking here.

ESCAPE-pain is a twice-weekly, six week evidence-based programme that combines education and exercise, to benefit people with chronic joint pain, also known as osteoarthritis. ESCAPE-pain is usually delivered by physiotherapists in hospital outpatient departments, but it can also be delivered by other professionals in a range of community settings. It aims to help patients feel more in control of their pain, and more able to do things they enjoy. The programme has been recognised with awards from both the Royal Society for Public Health and the British Society for Rheumatology.

The new app enables people to access the ESCAPE-pain programme digitally, for information and exercises, even if they are not able to get to an ESCAPE-pain site. It is also an aide-memoire to help people who have already completed the programme to continue to manage their condition. The app features 16 high quality exercise videos to improve joint pain, and engaging animations to help people learn about how to better manage their condition.

The exercise videos are simple and easy to follow, and show that exercise isn’t painful while enabling people using the app to feel its benefits. The videos come with clear instructions, and have been developed to show patients how to do the exercises safely in their own homes, to make them feel more confident and more in control.

Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, says “Thanks to the ESCAPE-pain app anyone with chronic knee or hip pain can benefit from the programme, regardless where they live. It is a tool that’s ideal to support people to exercise safely and regularly in their own home.”

Nicky Wilson, Consultant Physiotherapist (MSK), King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “People with joint pain are always looking for reliable resources to help them manage their condition and better cope with pain. The ESCAPE-pain app is an ideal tool to point them towards.”

The ESCAPE-pain programme has now spread to 32 sites in total (12 across south London), benefitting more than 1,500 people, and continues to spread across the UK.

Chronic joint pain, or osteoarthritis, affects one in five of the population over the age of 50, and one in two of the population over the age of 80. This condition causes considerable suffering and distress, and is a life-inhibiting disease. Although it cannot be cured there is a great deal people can do to relieve their symptoms. There is also a great deal of evidence that better understanding of the problem and exercise are very effective ways of reducing pain and the physical and psychosocial effects of chronic pain.

For more information please visit or email, or watch the introductory ESCAPE-pain app film here.

This app is a support tool, provided for reference only. It is therefore not to be used as the sole basis for treatment, prescription and care for your condition and health. It should be used in conjunction with the advice and professional judgement of your GP or other healthcare practitioner.

Free to download for iOS & Android. See