Celine Dion health: ‘I want to get through this’- singer on her persistent ‘health issues’

Celine Dion performs My Heart Will Go On at Hyde Park

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Four months after cancelling her North American tour, Dion, 54, announced that her European tour dates would be affected as her health issues “persist”. Although the singer has not fully explained the cause of her muscle spasms, which she first spoke of back in October 2021, she remains hopeful that if she is “patient” she will be able to make a full recovery and perform the shows that she has promised so many.

When first sharing news about her health, Dion took to her Instagram, sharing: “I want to get through this as soon as I can.”

Speaking in a video, the singer clearly got emotional, adding: “I’m just telling you how I feel and I want you to know I’m sorry for this news. I know you’ve all waited so long for the concerts and I appreciate your loyalty.

“By now I’m convinced that you should be so fed up with all of this and waiting for so long. But all I can say is that I’m doing my very best to get back to the level that I need to be, so that I can give 100 percent at my shows because that’s what you deserve.”

With little evidence about the cause of her muscle spasms, it was down to the singer’s sister, Claudette Dion, who spoke to TVA Nouvelles – a Quebec French language news service – to reveal more about her sister’s condition.

She said: “She shared with me that the stage had a steep incline when she was performing that would cause problems to her muscles, legs and feet.

“When it comes to her muscles, I know she had to do exercises and stay in shape every day.”

In the latest update from Dion, which came three weeks ago, the star was relatively upbeat, but admitted that her recovery is taking far longer than expected.

In another video posted on her social media sites, she said: “Now it’s my health issues causing us to postpone the shows and, unfortunately, cancel some too.

“The good news is that I’m doing a little bit better. It’s going very slow, and it’s very frustrating to me. I’m getting treatment from my doctors, taking medication, but I’m still experiencing some spasm and it’s taking a lot longer for me to recover than I had hoped.

“I was really hoping that I’d be good to go by now, but I suppose I just have to be more patient and follow the regimen that my doctors are prescribing.

“There’s a lot of organising and preparation that goes into our shows, and so we have to make decisions today which will affect the plans two months down the road.”

It is possible for muscle spasms to occur as a result of stress, exercise or dehydration. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they can happen in any part of the body but most commonly affect the feet, hands, arms, abdomen and back.

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A post shared by Céline Dion (@celinedion)

Spasms or cramps in muscles can range from an uncomfortable twitch to a significant level of pain which can last for up to 15 minutes, and may recur multiple times before going away completely.

On the whole, muscle pain, fatigue, and overuse are the most common causes of muscle spasms. But other possible causes include stress or anxiety, which can lead to muscle twitches in the face. Trapped nerves can also result in spasms in the back.

Although usually nothing to be concerned about, some individuals may be at a higher risk of developing muscle spasms than others. For example, those who have certain health conditions, such as nerve disorders or thyroid related problems, tend to experience a higher than average frequency of muscle spasms.

If a muscle spasm is part of a neurological health condition, the person will usually experience other symptoms. These might include:

  • Pain in the back, neck, or head
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Skin numbness
  • A pins-and-needles sensation
  • A tremor
  • Paralysis
  • Poor coordination
  • Slow movements
  • Double vision
  • Sleep problems.

Although Dion has not confirmed that she has been diagnosed with any permanent health conditions, the NHS explains that a condition known as dystonia is a life-long condition that causes “uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle spasms”.

The condition can affect either the whole body, or just one part, with other symptoms such as uncontrolled blinking, shaking and parts of the body twisting into unusual positions also common.

One of the main differences between muscle spasms and conditions such as dystonia is how they are treated. Regular muscle spasms usually resolve on their own, but drinking plenty of water can help to ease dehydration-related muscle cramps. The American Osteopathic Association also recommend:

  • Stopping any activity that led to the cramp — running, for example
  • Massaging the cramping muscle gently
  • Stretching the cramping muscle gently
  • Using a heating pad to relax tight muscles
  • Applying an ice pack to soothe sore muscles.

For dystonia, treatment mainly involves injections of medication known as botulinum toxin. This aims to relieve individuals of symptoms and needs to be repeated every three months. Surgery, physiotherapy and occupational therapy may also help.

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