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Exercise intervention programme to help arthritis sufferers

Physical activity is one of the ways we can really make a difference to community health
– Mike Lyons, director of sport and leisure, BH Live

A six-week exercise programme to help relieve pain for people with arthritis will be tested across a UK county to see if it can be used nationwide.

Following successful small-scale trials, Dorset will become the first county to test the initiative, called ESCAPE-pain, which integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with a personalised exercise regimen for people with chronic joint pain.

Up to 10 million people in the UK suffer from arthritis and estimates show that in Dorset up to 66,000 residents aged over 45 and suffer from pain caused by hip or knee osteoarthritis.

Arthritis UK and the Health Innovation Network approached Active Dorset, one of 44 County Sports Partnerships in the UK, to test how their proven intervention programme can be delivered at scale.

“Active Dorset is working closely with Public Health Dorset, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and key leisure providers are delighted to be delivering the trailblazing roll out of ESCAPE-pain and look forward to Dorset residents being the first to benefit,” said Martin Kimberley, chief executive of Active Dorset.

Classes will be run by a physiotherapist or qualified exercise professional and will be delivered across six venues by Active 4 Health (at Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, Queen Elizabeth Leisure Centre and Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex) and BH Live (at Active Corfe Mullen, Littledown and Pelhams Park Leisure Centre).

Mike Lyons, BH Live’s director of sport and leisure, said: “Physical activity is one of the ways we can really make a difference to community health.

"We encourage anyone affected by hip or knee osteoarthritis to get in touch and see how we can help manage the symptoms of their condition and improve their quality of life.”

The rehabilitation programme aims to help people understand their condition, teach simple things they can help themselves with and take them through a progressive exercise programme.

Evidence from trials showed that participants were able to better manage their symptoms, have the confidence and knowledge to be more active, and the motivation to continue exercising.

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Les Mills
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