Cilla Black: Star had ‘been in pain for years’ with agonising condition before death

Cilla Black plays with her children and dogs in 1973 home movie

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Tonight on Channel 5, a special programme will tell the story of Black, who became one of the nation’s most successful and best-loved singers, presenters and all-round entertainers. After the news of Black’s sad passing was released by her family, with her sons Robert, Ben and Jack adding that they were “devastated” by their loss, details of the postmortem were released confirming how the singer had died. The report confirmed that the star died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage – a form of stroke caused by bleeding on the brain, which most likely resulted from a head injury she sustained after falling over in her villa.

Before her death, the Blind Date host had been secretly suffering with a common condition that caused her tremendous pain.

Back in 2014, aged 71 years old at the time, Black told the MailOnline that she was “falling apart” as she struggled with deafness and arthritis.

Revealing the full extent of her health problems, Black said: “I am falling apart. My hand is falling apart. I can’t shake hands. I had arthritis and I had an operation for it.

“I had it done because I was in pain. I am not in pain at the moment. But it looks a bit deformed on the wrist.

“That has been fixed but it is going to take some time to heal. I fell in the park earlier this year as well and hurt my hand.”

Speaking to in August 2015, after Black’s death, her close friend Sam Leach spoke about how the star suffered with arthritis behind the scenes.

He said: “During The One And Only Cilla Black she appeared live. She was in absolute agony but you wouldn’t have thought so – she was so brave.

“She was in real pain and deaf but she was a professional and wonderful woman and even sang on the programme. She has been in pain for years.

“With rheumatoid arthritis you are in pain for the rest of your life.”

She added: “Seventy-five is a good age to go, I still think that way.

“If things are starting to drop off – like the hearing – and I’ve got twinges in the morning, I do think that.

“Secretly I don’t want to linger. I don’t want to be a burden on anybody. I know 75 is only four years away but I take each day as I find it.

“The hearing is the bugbear. I now have an implant in my ear to help my hearing which I have to turn off at night.”

Versus Arthritis, a UK charity to help those with the condition, explains that the word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints.

Affecting around 10 million people in the UK it can affect people of all ages – even children and teenagers, although some forms of arthritis are more common in older people.

Although it is common to have aches and pains in the muscles and joints from time to time, if symptoms do not go away after a few days, it might be an idea to seek medical advice.

Other possible symptoms that may indicate you have arthritis include the following:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
  • Inflammation in and around the joints
  • Restricted movement of the joints
  • Warm red skin over the affected joint
  • Weakness and muscle wasting.

Currently there is no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments available to help slow the condition down. Medical treatments include physiotherapy, surgery and medication, but there are also various lifestyle changes that individuals with arthritis can make.

Versus Arthritis explains that exercise may be key in helping to ease symptoms such as pain and swelling. Individuals usually find that low-impact exercise is best. Swimming, cycling, brisk walking, yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are all examples of exercises that have helped people with arthritis.

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