Will Kevin Hart Get Better with Physical Therapy after his car crash?

Many celebrities have used physical therapy to recover from injury and have a healthier lifestyle, including: Jennifer Anniston, P. Diddy, and more recently, Kevin Hart. Kevin was involved in a motor vehicle accident and crashed his car, a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, last week where he suffered three spinal fractures, and underwent a spinal fusion surgery.

What is a spinal fusion? Spinal fusion is surgery to join two or more vertebrae into one single structure. The goal is to stop movement between the two bones to help with healing and prevent back pain.

Once they’re fused, they no longer move like they used to. This can lead to excess stress being put on the vertebrae above and below the fusion, leading to compensation and discomfort in the surrounding muscles. This is why physical therapy is so important during the healing process. Our job is to find tightness, compensations, and find the cause of the issue. 

I once had a patient who had back pain, and underwent a spinal fusion. The recovery process was lengthy, and by the time the spine had healed from surgery, the man still had back pain and was not able to sit at work without pain, or travel and be active as much as he would like. After taking a look at him, it turned out that the problem was in his hips, but his back pain was a symptom.

Sometimes, surgery is needed, like in Kevin’s case when there is trauma. There will usually be a 4 day hospital stay, followed by 6 to 12 months of physical therapy focusing on hip and back mobility, as well as core and hip stability and strength work. However, if the back is not the cause of the problem, then back surgery is not needed.

While Mr. Hart suffered a direct injury to his spine, not all back pain is caused by this type of direct injury or trauma. We see many patients at our clinic who have developed an immobile spine over the years, which causes them back or hip pain, and vice versa. Sometimes, we see patients who have back pain, and think the problem is in their back, however, it is actually their hips that aren’t moving well, which puts extra stress on the low back.

Going back to the gentleman with the spinal fusion, we re-trained his hips. We did some therapy to help open up his hips, and I re-trained him to move his hips better, and then his back felt better. After a few visits he was like, “My back isn’t a problem anymore. I can sit and perform my job well, and have no problem traveling with my wife and being active on vacation”. We specialize in finding the cause of back pain, not just treating the symptoms. Physical therapy and working with one of our back pain specialists is the best first place to go before you decide to take any medications, get an injection, do an epidural, get an MRI or even undergo the knife and do surgery.

It’s a big deal, and I’d like to see if we can prevent it, because I’ve worked with way too many people who’ve had surgery without results before coming to see us. What we did was find the solution to the problem and it was not surgery. If you’re interested in learning how we can help you get back to doing the activities that are most important to you, no matter what it is, if someone’s ever told you never to do an activity again or you’re currently struggling to do it fully and without modifications, feeling safe and confident in your body, we’d love to help you.

Give us a call at 336-271-6677 to see how we can help you stay fit, healthy, and mobile without the use of pain medications, injections, or surgery. 

About The Author

Aaron LeBauer

Dr. Aaron LeBauer is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Business Coach to 1,000's of healthcare entrepreneurs. He owns LeBauer Physical Therapy, LLC, with his wife Andra, in Greensboro, N.C. He has been helping active people stay fit, active, healthy and recover from injuries without needing more pain medications, injections or surgery since 1999.

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