There are concerns for singer Olivia Newton- John after the Aussie pop legend was forced to cancel a string of US concerts citing a serious health issue.
The 68-year-old – who has previously battled breast cancer – made the shock announcement to fans via Facebook, with insiders confirming she ‘can’t walk at the moment’.
Olivia’s health woes are linked to her debilitating battle with sciatica – an incredibly painful spine and nerve condition that leaves some patients unable to move.
Doctors reveal that acute sufferers are often required to take strong painkillers to relieve the symptoms, which can require major spinal surgery.
‘Olivia is a fighter – she doesn’t let anything get her down,’ says a source close to the singer. ‘So to see her unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain is so severe is incredibly rattling. We are very worried.’
Adds an insider: ‘Cancelling a tour is a huge deal for someone as professional as she is. Olivia’s always been about “the show must go on” – she’s a true Aussie battler, so this is highly unusual.’
The Grease star released her emotional statement last week, telling fans: ‘We are so sorry to announce that the Olivia concerts scheduled for May will be postponed due to a bad issue with Olivia’s sciatica. Once the dates are rescheduled we will post the new dates ASAP. Apologies for any inconvenience.’
Leading US doctor Dr Dave David, who hasn’t treated Olivia, tells New Idea sciatica can be ‘very severe and incapacitating’, and that surgery is an option.
‘Sciatica is irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which emanates from nerve roots coming out of the lumbar spine,’ Dr David tells New Idea. ‘It can cause pain or weakness in the lower back and one of the legs.’
But insiders say that while Olivia’s sciatica is ‘beyond painful’, she’s also under a lot of other stress at the moment, which isn’t helping her health battle.
It’s believed the singer – who is married to businessman John Easterling – is anxious about the upcoming 60th birthday of her missing former boyfriend Patrick McDermott, who’s widely rumoured to have faked his own death in 2005.
‘Any landmark occasion in Patrick’s life always causes Olivia a lot of anxiety,’ says the insider. ‘All the old questions about whether he’s still alive, whether he faked his own death and what Olivia could be hiding always flare up and it’s so nerve-racking for her. She’s really dreading all the old memories and rumours being brought up again, it’s still very raw and devastating.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
You might also like...