Kevin* woke up one morning to find his knee swollen to twice its size. Six weeks later, and suffering a lot of pain, he was diagnosed with arthritis 

Whilst waiting for a diagnosis Kevin* was given Ibuprofen gel for the pain. It would take about ten minutes to get out of bed and get his legs working again. Fortunately, he lived in a flat without stairs to maneuver but daily life was still difficult and he was never without pain. He was diagnosed with arthritis, and with further investigations it was revealed he was also suffering from type 2 diabetes.

“I like being informed. I like knowing what’s going on”

 A referral to the physiotherapist was no surprise to Kevin*. Having damaged his right knee and left leg on two previous occasions, he had a fair idea of what to expect with the ESCAPE-pain programme. However, he was surprised to find he was one of the youngest people on the programme at 56-years-old. A couple of his fellow participants suffered from hip problems, but the most common affliction was arthritis. An additional and welcome surprise for Kevin* was that the physiotherapist took the time to explain about type 2 diabetes and how his diet affects it.  He made drastic changes in this area as well as diligently sticking to the six-week ESCAPE-pain programme.

“You do exercises to build the muscle”

Kevin* found the ESCAPE-pain sessions very helpful, particularly the explanations as to how exercising with weights could help build muscle again. By the end of the course he was lifting 2.5kg on each leg, and he could stand without the worry of putting weight on it.

“Some people found it easier and some people didn’t… but I know it works for me”

 Through ESCAPE-pain, Kevin* discovered health benefits on all levels. He is no longer in constant pain, his weight dropped from 106.25kg to 102kg after only three weeks of the course, and his type 2 diabetes was resolved after five months.

ESCAPE-pain – or Enabling Self-management and Coping of Arthritic Pain – is a six-week group programme delivered to people aged 45 plus with OA.

  • OA affects nearly ten million people, and accounts for two million GP consultations.
  • ESCAPE-pain has been shown to reduce pain, improve physical function, depression, health beliefs and general wellbeing in a randomised control trial (RCT).
  • Users benefit from sustained benefits for up to two and a half years after completing the programme.

 For more information email or visit

 *Patient’s name has been changed for confidentiality

Download ‘My Story: A long-term snooze button for arthritic pain’