Elvis Presley Suffered From Immense ‘Physical Pain’ in His Final Months on Tour, Author Claims

by Samantha Whidden

Months before his unexpected passing from heart failure, music icon Elvis Presley was allegedly suffering from immense physical pain while on tour. 

Sally A. Hoedel, the author of Elvis: Destined to Die, spoke to Fox News about Elvis Presley’s health months before his unexpected passing on August 16, 1977. “It’s hard for us to image [that he was in physical pain],” Hoedel stated. “Because he once appeared so perfect on the outside that he couldn’t have been flawed on the inside. [Those health] issues become more difficult to live with the more he tours, and he toured a great deal in those last several years. That added a lot of strain to his health.” 

Elvis Presley was notably found unconscious in his Graceland mansion on August 16, 1977. The music icon was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the age of 42. More than 40 years after the King’s death, Hoedel wrote Elvis: Destined to Die Young. The book explores the health history of Presley and what caused his early in life passing. 

In her book, Hoedel writes about how Elvis Presley had confided in backup singer Kathy Westmoreland about his physical struggles. He revealed his eyes were a “constant source of pain” along with other ailments. The singer and songwriter also would ask Westmoreland if she would rub his legs due to them “killing” him. He would further complain about being hurt all over. 

Elvis Presley’s physician, George Nichopoulos, also disclosed that the music icon had suffered from chronic pain from degenerative problems in both his neck and back. This was due to severe arthritis.

Others in Elvis Presley’s Life Revealed He Was Struggling With Physical Pain Constantly 

Meanwhile, Elvis Presley’s hairstylist Larry Geller had revealed the musician knew there was something “terribly wrong” with his body. “Something more than the colon, the liver, the medication,” Geller described. However, Hoedel alleged that Presley was continuing to use medication for relief and also to function. 

“Elvis was a strong individual,” Presley’s stepbrother Billy Stanley shared. “He believed he could conquer all his problems himself. He once told me, ‘You never hear Superman asking for help.’”

Meanwhile, Hoedel wrote that touring became difficult for Elvis Presley as he continued to endure his pain. “We see that when he tours, he takes more medication than when he’s not touring,” Hoedel observed. “So we know that it’s physically hard on his body and that’s why he’s taking more medication when he’s on the road. The touring doesn’t help. And he does that in the last several years of his life.”

Hoewel went on to add that Elvis Presley could easily become addicted to the medication he was taking. Especially when it came to combat his insomnia. “And he’s taking things like Valium to achieve sleep because he literally cannot sleep any other way. His doctor tried at one point to see if he could sleep without anything. I think he was awake for three days. They finally had to give him medication just so he could sleep.”