Jillian Michaels claims she had to pull celebrity strings to get diagnosed with a serious spinal fracture, saying doctors first dismissed her injury as mild
- Jillian Michaels said she suffered a major injury in spring 2021, fracturing her spine.
- The celeb trainer said she worried her career was over, and doctors didn't take her seriously.
Jillian Michaels said she had to use her celebrity clout to get proper medical care for a debilitating back injury in spring 2021, which doctors initially said was "not that bad."
The celebrity personal trainer told PEOPLE that she slipped and fell while walking into the bathroom, hitting her back on the bathtub. Michaels said she told herself and loved ones that she was fine at first. However, her lower back pain worsened over six weeks, she said — finally, after she couldn't get out of the car for a family dinner, her wife decided it was time for the emergency room.
At that point, Michaels said she was in so much pain, she could barely complete the medical scans. Doctors suspected a nerve impingement and sent her home with pain medication, but she continued to feel worse, Michaels told PEOPLE.
"The pain at night was so bad," she said. "It was so crazy. I couldn't walk, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't stand. I was having to crawl on the ground. I'm like, 'My life is over.'"
Michaels said a spine specialist eventually diagnosed her with fractured vertebrae, and she feared her career was over. The expert, Dr. Stuart McGill, told PEOPLE that Michaels had joint instability issues. She said her efforts to fix the problem herself made it "so much worse."
To recover, the famously fit celeb said she had to not only stop all exercise, but move as little as possible for a month, and work back up to even standing. In total, the healing process took about six months, with help from an assisted squat machine and program called the DB Method, which Michaels is now a spokesperson for.
While she's now back to a more regular routine, the injury permanently changed the way she works out, prompting her to focus more on exercises for stability, mobility, and longevity, Michaels previously told Insider in an interview.
She also said she stopped doing "stupid shit in the gym" in favor of prioritizing basic movements with perfect form.
"Everything I do is about fundamentals all day long, corrective exercise and basic biomechanics to avoid injury and build a body for the long haul," Michaels said.
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