Eric Clapton says nerve damage makes playing guitar 'hard work'

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton has said that damage to his nervous system makes playing guitar difficult.

Clapton, who was recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, told Classic Rock: “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.”

Clapton, who cancelled concerts in 2013 due to back pain, said his condition felt as if “electric shocks [were] going down your leg”.

“[It’s] hard work to play the guitar, and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve.”

Peripheral neuropathy results when nerves in the body are damaged. The musician, who has written about overcoming his addiction to heroin, alcohol and prescription drugs in his 2007 autobiography Clapton, said that it was a “great thing to be alive at all”.

“By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago.”

“I don’t know how I survived – the 70s especially,” said Clapton. “For some reason, I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance.”

Clapton released his 23rd solo album, I Still Do, in May.

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