A GROUP of physiotherapists across Morecambe Bay is running an exercise programme to help patients self-manage osteoarthritis (chronic joint pain) of the knee and hip, with plans to expand the service in future.

The Enabling Self-Management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise (ESCAPE-pain) programme is targeting people over 45-years-old who are capable of independent exercise.

“A lot of the people who come through ESCAPE-Pain haven’t exercised for a long time due to fear of exacerbating their symptoms,” said Ruth Marrison, one of the 11 physiotherapists leading the scheme.

“We explain that not only is a graded exercise programme safe, it’s actually beneficial and what’s more, it’s often very enjoyable.”

People attend a total of 12 one-hour sessions over six weeks, with referral being via a GP or other healthcare professional.

There are also plans to expand the service across community venues, to include other therapists and fitness instructors.