Singer Zoe Felipe, 21, the son of fellow Leonardo's, said he had a chronic inflammatory condition called ankylosing spondylitis.
"I had back pain, legs, knee pain," he said in a video posted on the social network. The condition is characterized by inflammation of the spine, joints and fingers and hands.
Back pain is the most common symptom. The discomfort worsens during the night during a break, and it is common for the person to wake up stiff in the body.
"Most pains worsen with effort, but one with spondylitis does not. This is a sign of inflammation, "said Marcelo Pinhiro, co-ordinator of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology (SBR) for spondyloarthritis.
The exact cause of the disease is not yet known, but there are inherited factors involved. Between 70% and 80% of people with spondylitis have the HLA-B27 gene, according to Pinheiro. However, the gene alone does not explain the disease, which is also linked to environmental factors.
There are varying degrees of illness, which can be mild, with no inflammation and the person's life is largely unaffected, and difficult. In this case, the disease can lead to deformities and disabilities – as the inflammation progresses, the joints are calcified.
Pinhiro says until recently the diagnosis could lead to early retirement. Today, still incurable, it is possible to control the pain and prevent the development of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is important.
Muscle strengthening exercises are the central pillar of treatment, which also has anti-inflammatory drugs, says Pineiro.
The SBR has a free application called "Repair" that offers stretching and physiotherapy exercises, an appointment book, medication information, symptom intensity and answers to frequently asked questions.