Jillian Michaels Is Finally Pain-Free 2 Years After Freak Accident and Spinal Injury: 'I Made Mistakes' (Exclusive)

The fitness trainer and wellness expert tells PEOPLE that she's made a "full recovery" since fracturing part of her spine in 2022

<p>Don Flood</p>

Don Flood

Jillian Michaels isn’t going to let anything slow her down — not even the slip-and-fall spinal injury she sustained in the spring of 2022.

Two years later, the fitness trainer is doing better than ever: Michaels, 50, has made a “full recovery,” she tells PEOPLE, and she’s made a few lifestyle modifications to keep her feeling happy and healthy.

“I've made adjustments to every aspect of my life and it actually improves my overall health. What I mean by that is I don't sit hardly ever, if possible. I have a little treadmill, like a walk pad. I got it on Amazon and I just walk at 1.7 miles an hour while I work at my computer. I take my phone calls walking around either on my walking pad or outside or on the step mill,” says the Keeping It Real podcast host.

<p>Don Flood</p> Jillian Michaels

Don Flood

Jillian Michaels

Michaels adds that she’s also “meticulous” about the way she picks things up and how she rotates her spine after experiencing the L3 vertebrae fracture and bulging discs that resulted from her fall (she told PEOPLE last year that she was walking into the bathroom to get her wife DeShana Marie Minuto's attention when she slipped, comparing the moment to stepping on a banana peel).

Related: Jillian Michaels' 2 Kids: All About Lukensia and Phoenix

“I don't do anything that would aggravate the injury or exacerbate the injury," Michaels says, adding that she's reached a place where she lives with no pain at all. "Everything I do proactively is for core stabilization. So, I'm really diligent.”

While Michaels no longer partakes in what she calls "the crazy stupid Instagram stuff that I used to do back in the day" (think snowboarding), she does admit that while she was trying to get to the bottom of why she was in so much pain after her fall, she nearly made her condition worse.

Related: Jillian Michaels Posted Old Content on Social Media for Months to Hide Injury: 'I Disappeared Off the Grid'

“If you don't understand the injury, any sort of spinal rotation, [it's] like, ‘Oh, I'm in so much pain. Let me stretch.’ I made all of these mistakes, which is the hilarious part because I owned a sports medicine facility," says Michaels, who also has her own exercise app The Fitness App where she teaches workout classes.

"I thought it was just muscle pain. I didn't personally understand what was going on because I'd never had disc pain before. I was like, 'I'm just tight,'” she continues. “People don't really understand what the injuries are and they do all the wrong stuff.”

<p>Paul Archuleta/Getty</p> Jillian Michaels in 2020

Paul Archuleta/Getty

Jillian Michaels in 2020

Oftentimes, the “wrong stuff” can include a lot of classic yoga poses, like cat-cow, child’s pose or happy baby, says Michaels. She equates the concept to jumping rope on a broken ankle: jumping rope is usually good, but with a niche injury, the activity actually causes more harm than anything else.

“For me, I'm just so frigging careful. How you sleep matters. It's a change. You're changed,” the former Biggest Loser trainer says, reflecting on how far she's come since the spinal fracture.

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“You live your life and bad things happen. It could be physical. It could be you get divorced. You lose a loved one. You get an injury and you adapt and you move forward,” she says. “The key is for people to adapt successfully, they do need the right information, and I was very lucky to have the right information.”

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