Eric Clapton has revealed in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine that he’s been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.
“I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy, which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg,” said Clapton. “And I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old.”
Peripheral neuropathy, results from damaged peripheral nerves and causes muscle weaknesses, numbness, and pain sensations, usually in the hands and feet. There are multiple causes of neuropathies, including, but not limited to: alcoholism, diabetes, tumors, and vitamin deficiencies.
Earlier in life, Clapton was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and at one point would spend nearly $16,000 on heroin per week.
“Financially, it was ridiculous,” Clapton told Melissa Block in a 2007 interview with NPR. “The thing about that kind of addiction that’s pretty funny, on reflection, is that I always thought, ‘I’m handling this. I can handle it. I can stop anytime. I just don’t want to stop right now.”
Despite the diagnosis, the 71-year-old expresses gratitude for even being alive, given his previous hard-partying days.
“Because I’m in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all,” he said. “By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance.”
Back in 2013, the rock legend was forced to cancel several tour dates due to severe pain.
“It’s hard work to play the guitar, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve,” he admitted during the interview with Classic Rock.
Yet the three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee continues to make music. He released his 23rd album “I Still Do” in May, which topped the Rock charts.