By Pat Anson, Editor
It’s rare for a celebrity to talk openly their health problems, but Lady Gaga is speaking up about her battle with fibromyalgia and chronic hip pain.
During a news conference at the Toronto Film Festival promoting her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, Lady Gaga fought back tears as she described how “liberating” it was for the film to cover her decade-long struggle with chronic pain.
“There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes pain is a microphone. My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they're not alone. It's freeing for me ... and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” the 31-year old entertainer said.
“There is a degree of self-deprecation and shame with feeling in pain a lot. And I want people that watch it — that think there's no way I live (with chronic pain) because they see me dance and sing and don't think that could possibly be — to know I struggle with things like them. I work through it and it can be done. We have to stick together. I don't have to hide it because I'm afraid it's weak.”
In a teaser for the film, there are shots of Lada Gaga wincing in pain as she receives injections on a surgical table.
"It was incredibly hard, on a basic fundamental human level, to be near someone experiencing pain like that. There's nothing you can do, beyond filming," said director Chris Moukarbel.
"I felt I needed to continue to roll. She was very aware of people struggling with similar chronic pain. She's not even sure how to deal with it.”
“It's a part of me, and I'm grateful to Chris for caring. The compassion is overwhelming. That's why it makes me emotional. It's very touching,” Lady Gaga said.
The singer’s struggle with chronic pain reportedly began with physical and emotional trauma from a sexual assault. She later suffered a hip injury, but hid her pain from fans and her own staff until she required surgery in 2013. The singer now reportedly suffers from synovitis, an inflammation of the joint that can be caused by overuse or injury.
“I hid my injury until I couldn’t walk,” Lady Gaga told Arthritis Magazine in March. “I had a tear on the inside of my joint and huge breakage.
Lady Gaga also recently acknowledged that she has pain from fibromyalgia.
"I wish to help raise awareness & connect people who have it," she wrote in a Tweet.
"Thought ice helped #Fibromyalgia. I was wrong & making it worse. Warm/Heat is better. Electric Heated Blanket, Infrared Sauna, Epsom Baths."
Last November, Lady Gaga posted on Instagram an image of herself sitting in a sauna wrapped in an emergency blanket. Months later, she set aside her pain and soared around a stadium during a spectacular halftime show at theSuper Bowl.
The singer told reporters in Toronto she was going to take a break from performing and “slow down for a moment, for some healing.” That prediction came true days later when she cancelled plans for a concert in Brazil because of severe pain.
"I was taken to the hospital its not simply hip pain or wear & tear from tour, I'm in severe pain. I'm in good hands w/ the very best doctors," she wrote on Twitter. "Brazil, I'm devastated that I'm not well enough 2 come to Rock In Rio. I would do anything 4 u but I have to take care of my body right now."