Liam Gallagher: arthritis in hips explained, will it affect Knebworth, replacement, symptoms - how old is he?

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Gallagher says he regularly ‘cakes himself’ in Deep Heat to manage the pain

Former Oasis star Liam Gallagher has revealed he is suffering from arthritis, and needs to undergo a double hip replacement.

The swaggering Manchester frontman - now a successful solo musician - said that at the age of 49, he now needs herbal sleeping tablets in order to rest, and has been forced to give up running.

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But will the vocalist’s condition affect future performances, including his long-awaited Knebworth show?

Here is everything you need to know.

Will Knebworth still go ahead?

On 4 June, Gallagher is expected to step onstage at Knebworth Park, the site of one of Oasis’ most famous concerts of their 90s heyday.

But will he be able to replicate the spectacle of that legendary 1996 performance?

Despite Gallagher revealing he had been diagnosed with arthritis three years ago and could require surgery to correct it, it seems there is little chance of him going through with the operation.

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"I'd rather be in a wheelchair, with [fiancee Debbie Gwyther] pushing me around, “ he told Mojo magazine, “like Little Britain."

"I'd rather just be in pain. Which is ridiculous, obviously. I know that. Just get them fixed.”

Gallagher said he was reluctant to undergo surgery due to the “stigma” of having one’s hips replaced; “What’s next?” he added.

So it looks like Gallagher won’t be seeking medical attention for his ailment soon, and will still be giving it his all at his upcoming dates.

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It appears the Oasis singer is determined to just ‘roll with it’ (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)It appears the Oasis singer is determined to just ‘roll with it’ (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
It appears the Oasis singer is determined to just ‘roll with it’ (Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) | Getty Images

How bad is his arthritis?

The singer said he struggles to sleep at night due to his joint pain, and uses herbal medication to manage it.

He told Mojo: "I'm on herbal sleeping tablets and they've saved my life. One of them, seven hours out, no pain, nothing.

"My new thing is Deep Heat. Caked myself in it on the knees and hips, the calves, then into the steam room for as long as I can handle it."

Gallagher added that while he doesn’t mind “a little pain”, he is “definitely on the downwards slide”.

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But fans shouldn’t worry, as the frontman vowed to “keep doing what I do until I die.”

“Or I'm reborn and turn into a wasp. Or a butterfly. Or turn into a packet of Scampi f***ing Fries."

What is arthritis?

Some 10 million people in the UK have arthritis, suffering from painful joints.

While there are many types, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Osteoarthritis is one of the biggest causes of ill health in the western world, affecting as many as 8 million people in the UK alone - and most people will develop some degree of it during their lives.

It typically strikes in people over the age of 45 and can affect any joint in the body, but is normally seen in the large weight-bearing joints of the hip, knee and spine, and in the smaller joints of the fingers.

It may result from an inherited weakness in cartilage – the rubbery-type tissue that separates the bones – but lifestyle is important too, and there are steps you can take to protect your joints.

(Photo: Pexels)(Photo: Pexels)
(Photo: Pexels) | Pexels

Rheumatoid arthritis is much less common, but still affects an estimated 700,000 people in the UK.

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It’s an autoimmune condition in which the antibodies that normally attack bacteria and viruses target the cells covering the joints, leaving them inflamed and sore.

Flare-ups are a common feature in this type of arthritis, and pain and stiffness may be worse in the morning.

If left untreated, joints can become permanently inflamed and misaligned, leading to disability.

How is it treated?

Contrary to common misconception, osteoarthritis is not a ‘wear and tear’ disease, and does not inevitably get worse as you get older.

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You might not be able to change your age or your family history, but your weight is something you can control, the next biggest risk factor.

There is good evidence that the muscle tone associated with regular exercise helps protect the joints, but too much exercise can accelerate the process.

Regular walking or jogging shouldn’t cause arthritis of the knees or hips, although it may accelerate damage in people with pre-existing problems.

And a healthy diet - particularly one rich in vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables, and Omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish - may help slow the progression and ease joint pain and inflammation.

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If you do suffer from osteoarthritis, paracetamol taken regularly is the first port of call to handle any pain or discomfort.

If that’s not effective, try an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen.

Topical NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen gel, are often useful for hand or knee arthritis. And corticosteroid injections into the joint are also sometimes used to fight inflammation.

Similar to osteoarthritis, regular over-the-counter painkillers can help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers cope with pain and discomfort – if you’re prescribed regular oral NSAIDs, you may need to take some extra medication to protect your stomach.

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Early diagnosis is vital to start treatment and prevent the condition deteriorating, leading to permanent joint damage.

Because its symptoms are similar to other conditions, it can be hard for your GP to provide an accurate diagnosis, so you will need a referral to a hospital specialist to have blood tests.

That specialist can prescribe disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to stop it getting worse, or biological treatments injected to stop the immune system attacking the joints.

There is still no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but these treatments can mean sufferers don’t suffer flare-ups for months or even years.

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