Robbie Williams declined back operation

Robbie Williams declined to have an operation on his back after he found out he would have been out of action for eight months.

FILE: British singer Robbie Williams. Picture: Pool/AFP

LONDON - Robbie Williams would have been out of action for eight months if he had had an operation on his back.

The hitmaker had to cancel the last few dates of his tour earlier this year after suffering from severe back pain and he did consider getting looked at by the surgeon but decided against it when he was told he had to do nothing but lie down for nearly a year.

He said: "I had a really bad back at the start of the year; it was really debilitating. Then I had to go on tour and at the best of times, I have to be 100 percent to go on tour because it's really demanding. I had a slipped disc in the middle of my back, a slipped disc in my neck and arthritis in the bottom of my back. I was a mess and I was taking injections to go on each night. As the tour went on, it just caught up with me. But I managed to do 97 percent of the tour ...

"I was going to [have the operation]. The operation they wanted to do for me was to break two of my ribs going through the back and then put a plate on my ribs and I was going to have to lie down for eight months. The recuperation was going to be eight months of me and YouTube and you lovely people."

However, Williams is back in good health now and he credits his new plant-based diet for helping with the healing process.

Speaking during an appearance on ITV's Loose Women alongside his wife Ayda Field, he added: "The back's taken care of itself. Lots of yoga, lots of pilates ...

"I'm not a vegan but I'm doing plant-based stuff. I'm more vegan than I was but I'm on my way there. Occasionally [we eat meat] but not as often. I wanted to do anything to make the back better and I heard if you eat a lot of meat, you get a lot of inflammation so I decided to go plant-based."