Rodney Crowell Suffering From Bulging, Ruptured Discs; Postpones Shows

by VVN Music

Country and Americana icon Rodney Crowell has been forced to cancel all of his shows in the immediate future after suffering severe pain from a number of bulging and a ruptured disc in his spine.

Crowell had been on the road promoting his latest album, Close Ties, when he started having severe pain, especially when sitting on long trips between shows. Eventually, the diagnosis came back as four bulging discs in the lumbar region of his spine and one that was completely ruptured.

While surgery is possible, Crowell is going to try to alleviate the situation with physical therapy but that will keep him home for at least eight weeks. If that option fails, he will have to go through surgery which will delay his recovery longer.

On Saturday (June 3), Crowell posted a statement on the situation.

In mid April I noticed a dull pain in my right buttocks. On May 4, I woke up in intense pain. Come the 6th of May, I flew to Houston for a show in Madisonville, Texas. It was the second longest plane ride of my life. Upon landing I found that I could barely walk. From the knee down, my right leg had gone numb. We did two shows that night. I flew early the next morning to Santa Barbara. Houston to Los Angeles was the longest plane ride of my life. I have no interest in courting sympathy, but the pain I felt trying to sit in that god-awful seat was just shy of all I could take. I managed that night in Santa Barbara to give a decent performance. But by the time we finished the Troubadour show on May 9 my meltdown was complete. Knowing I couldn’t carry on, I cancelled three shows and flew home where my doctor had arranged for an MRI. The results were four bulging discs in the lumbar region of my spine---one of which is entirely ruptured. The rupture was causing the vertebrae to squash the sciatic nerve. Still is. In order to finish the month of May and to make up on Memorial Day the show I’d cancelled in Berkeley, California, I opted for a steroid epidural—a temporary fix--- which knocked the pain down enough to go back out and complete the tour.

As of yesterday, in hopes of avoiding surgery, I’ve started working with a physical therapist. The rehab, if successful, will take up to eight weeks. As for the shows in the UK, same as the shows in California, I hope to schedule make up dates. Honestly, during the darkest hour of this ordeal, I simply couldn’t see any way I’d be able to endure the travel involved in making those dates and asked that they be cancelled. Time will tell if the physical therapy will work. If not, it’ll be surgery. Which will likely put me on the sidelines for a while. My intention, however, is to heal up naturally and, whenever possible, honor all my commitment’s. To the folks who feel put out by the cancellations in the UK, I offer my sincere apologies. Rodney

Crowell had a run of seven straight top ten country singles from 1988 to 1990 including five straight number 1's all from his album Diamonds and Dirt. It recent years, Crowell has become a leading artist in the Americana movement.

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