Eric Clapton struggles to play guitar due to nerve damage

(Image credit: Andrew Fosker/REX/Shutterstock)

Eric Clapton may have just released new album I Still Do, but it turns out Slowhand is suffering from nerve damage, which is affecting his ability to play guitar.

"I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year," Clapton told Classic Rock magazine. "It started with lower back pain and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy, which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg.

"[It's] hard work to play the guitar and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve."

I've had to come to terms with the fact that it will not improve

Nonetheless, Clapton considers himself lucky to be playing at all, given his past drink and drugs excess.

"Because I'm in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all.

"By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance."

Back in 2013, Clapton was forced to cancel tour dates owing to back pain, which proved to be the root of his current nerve issues.

We wish Eric all the best with his condition, and hope to hear more of his playing soon.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.