Celine Dion suffered broken ribs after illness caused muscle spasms

The music superstar, whose best-known hits include My Heart Will Go On, Think Twice and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, revealed her diagnosis in December 2022 as she cancelled her Courage World Tour.

In a teaser clip of a new Today interview set to air on NBC in the US, Dion told presenter Hoda Kotb that living with the condition was “like somebody’s strangling you”.

“It’s like somebody’s pushing your larynx, pharynx, this way,” she said, using her fingers to press inwards on her throat.

Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that causes progressive muscular stiffness, which can cause spasms that can be “abdominal, can be in the spine, can be in the ribs”, Dion said.

“It feels like if I point my feet, it will stay in (that position), or if I cook — because I love to cook — my fingers, my hands will get in position,” she said.

“It’s cramping, but it’s like in a position of like you cannot unlock them.”

The 56-year-old revealed the condition had caused “broken ribs at one point”.

Celine Dion attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala in 2019 (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

“Sometimes, when it’s very severe, it can break some ribs,” the singer said.

Dion has documented her health battle in a new Prime Video film called I Am: Celine Dion, which is set to air on June 25.

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor, it will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian singer’s life since being diagnosed and the lengths she has gone to in order to carry on performing.

The main symptoms of SPS are muscle stiffening and spasming and there is currently no cure for the disease, but there are ways for it to be treated including through the use of muscle sedatives and relaxants.

Physical and occupational therapy is also a treatment route for people with SPS.

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her 40-year career, earning five Grammys, two Oscars and the Billboard Music Award lifetime achievement icon award.

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