Veteran musician Willie Nelson had to take some time off work to undergo several medical procedures after suffering pains in his hands and a shoulder.

The country star, 81, rarely feels his age but admits he "hit the wall" in the last few years and suffered a number of health problems because he was touring too hard.

In 2013, he cancelled a festival date in Nashville, Tennessee because of his troublesome shoulder, and Nelson has since slowed down his schedule to include long periods of downtime to avoid a repeat of the issues.

He tells Uncut magazine, "A while back, I had overbooked myself on my dates. Working harder than I should be. One day, I just couldn't go any further. I had some health problems, I had a shoulder that was bothering me and hands and things. So I took some time off and had some health work done and got better.

"But there was a time there when I had hit the wall. All those things concern you, when your hands are bothering you, and your shoulders and you're having problems with one thing or another. So, yeah, I was having some issues. But they're pretty much worked out by now."