'This is my therapy': The workout group helping reduce pressure on the NHS

  • ITV Wales' Issa Farfour reports from Cardiff.

A workout group in Cardiff is aiming to reduce pressure on the NHS by helping people understand their conditions and get them active.

ESCAPE-pain is a group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint painthat are referred to the programme by their GP.

People can also refer themselves to the programme which is run by leisure centres and the National the Heath Service.

The programme has running for more than 15 years across the UK and inside hospitals but now that the NHS is working with leisure centres, it is easier for people in chronic pain to access it.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

It is hoped this will help to reduce pressure by keeping patients out of GP surgeries and waiting for NHS treatment.

Marjorie King, who attends the sessions regularly, said: “I come here because I have a knee pain and in order not to have my muscles wasting.

"I come to exercise it, which will help it and avoid me having to always go to the hospital for therapy. So, this is my therapy.”

Robert Huntley, who also goes to the sessions said: “I've slipped disc for about 15 years, so now I’ve got a hip gone.

"I was in a lot of pain and we recommended it to come here to exercise it and strengthen the muscles. Started at about eight months ago now and yes, improved a lotmassively”.

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Another participant said: “I slipped and fell and I've done something to my back which has affected all the side of my leg, so it is just keeping me mobile.”

The programme helps people understand their condition, teaches them simplethings they can help themselves with, and takes them through a progressive exercise programme so they learn how to cope with pain better.

Over 3000 people have been referred to the programme across the Cardiff andthe Vale University Health Board area.

Huw Davies from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “We're hoping that people can escape their pain by attending a group where we will support people to have conversations around different topics that are really helpful for people to manage their long-term pain.

"But also doing some activities and some exercises to be able to support them, to be able to be more active and be healthier which hopefully has a an effect on their health”

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