Regular exercise and early treatment can help ease pain of arthritis, say researchers.
A review of scientific research concluded that physical activity could cut the risk of disability and help relieve the pain of a range of conditions including arthritis, back pain and brittle bone disease.
For some, the level of improvement increases with the number of exercise sessions, the researchers found.
A second study also hailed the benefits of aggressive, early treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, the Daily Express reported.
The researchers noted that the chances of disability could be significantly reduced when drugs, which can halt the disease's destructive process, are started soon after it begins.
According to research published in the journal Mayo Clinic Health Letter, drugs can prevent the immune system from attacking the joints. But the longer the disease persists, the less likely it will respond to treatment.
Experts at the National Resource Centre for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology in Norway found that exercise therapy for bone and muscle conditions had clear medical benefits.
Writing in the journal BMC Medicine, they said exercise could decrease pain and improve physical functioning.
The Norwegian researchers looked at scientific reviews across 224 trials and 24,059 patients. They found the effects of regular exercise were most important for knee osteoarthritis, lower back and shoulder pain by increasing bone mass density.
But for neck pain, hip osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, improvements were less significant.