Lance Bass has revealed that he has psoriatic arthritis.
The singer, 43, said he had been dealing with pain associated with the condition before he was diagnosed five years ago. He said he just chalked up what he was experiencing to issues connected with his work as a dancer.
“I had symptoms before, but you know, I kind of just dealt with it, not knowing exactly what it was. I was a dancer my whole life, so I just figured it was because of dancing,” he told People. He also noted that he had patches of psoriasis on his scalp, while also enduring pain in his joints.
“It definitely started in my shoulders and then in my knees,” he said. “And again, to me, that was just such a sign of dancer pain, so I just thought it was completely normal, totally ignoring the signs.”
“Psoriatic arthritis is a progressive inflammatory condition of the joints and the places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones (entheses),” according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
“It happens when the immune system, for unknown reasons, becomes overactive and creates inflammation, leading to pain and swelling. Most people who develop psoriatic arthritis already have psoriasis (a skin disease) when they are diagnosed, but a small fraction have joint pain before the skin rash."
According to the National Institutes of Health there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis and it can be associated with a variety of symptoms, including inflamed skin patches, joint stiffness, fatigue, tender bones, swelling in fingers or toes, changes in fingernails, eye inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease.
“My shoulders were the main problem for me, and if I would’ve had kids five years ago, I don’t even know if I would’ve been able to feed my kids and hold them in a certain way because you use your shoulders so much,” he said. “I’m glad I got that under control before the kids came so that I can actually hold them without being in such excruciating pain.”
Bass, who has teamed up with Amgen for the Double Take campaign to help spot the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, initially thought he was hurt and stopped exercising, which had a negative impact on his life. He said getting a diagnosis turned out to be a blessing.
“I lost a lot of weight, a lot of my muscle and I just did not feel right,” he told E! News. “Once I found out that it was PsA, it changed my life in the best way possible because then I knew how to go about my workout routines and I shouldn’t be afraid to work out my shoulders, knees and all that. And so I started eating healthier, I started exercising better. It really changed my life in a very healthy way.”