HGTV’s Erin Napier Sidelined by Freak Injury: ‘Seizing Up With Pain’

Erin Napier

Heavy/HGTV/YouTube Erin Napier of HGTV's "Home Town"

Erin Napier has had a rocky start to 2024 when it comes to her health. In February, the HGTV star revealed her family was down for the count with COVID. Now, one month later, Napier has revealed that a back injury, which she suffered while also struggling with a sinus infection, has caused her so much pain she could barely walk.

“Deep breaths, moving in my sleep, taking a step, pressing the middle of my back with a fingertip: felt like electrocution, seizing up with pain,” Erin wrote in an Instagram post on March 7.

The “Home Town” star revealed that following her injury, she needed a steroid shot to get through her first week of filming “Home Town Takeover” in late February. But once she was back home in Laurel, Mississippi, she was able to consult with her dad and brother, who are both physical therapists, and receive the help she needed.

This marks the latest health challenge Erin has had to face, having dealt with everything from throat surgery to a mystery illness that lasted for a decade.

Here’s what you need to know:

Erin Napier Says Her Big Brother Solved Her Injury With Physical Therapy

On February 20, Erin and her husband Ben announced that they were about to start filming the third season of “Home Town Takeover” in Sebring, Florida. But according to her March 7 Instagram post, Erin’s injury was causing so much pain before the announcement that she required a steroid shot just to get through the week.

“The week before we left for Sebring to film the first days of Takeover season 3, I hurt my back,” she told fans. “I hurt my back BADLY. By… blowing my nose with bad posture over and over when I had a sinus infection. Who knew?”

Erin added that after the week in Sebring, the steroid wore off and the back pain returned. She started by consulting her dad, a retired physical therapist who, she shared last year, started the PT program at their local hospital in 1975.

“My daddy is one of the most knowledgeable physical therapists in the state,” she wrote in her latest post. “One of the first doctors of it in Mississippi. He retired in 2019 and when this sort of thing happens, I still trust him to fix it.”

“But this time he said: ‘go to your brother’s clinic,'” Erin continued. “He has always insisted Clark is gifted at back rehabilitation, and not just because he learned from him.”

Erin’s older brother has a local physical therapy clinic called Optimal Performance PT and helped Ben prepare for shoulder surgery last year. In January 2023, Erin posted a video of one of their sessions and celebrated that Clark “was brave enough to step out in faith and left the hospital where our dad retired from to became a partner in a physical therapy clinic last year.”

Recalling going into see Clark about her back, she wrote, “So by this point I am barely able to walk … He touches my back and knows immediately: my rib was dislocated from my spine and pinched a capsule. A nerve? Whatever it was: I was immobilized.

“And he told me to cross my arms, take a breath, wait for it,” she continued. “In a lighting bolt moment he corrected it. WITH NOTHING BUT HIS BRAIN AND HANDS. And I am totally pain free.”

“Even though he repeatedly stole my Slim Jims and Raisinets when we were little,” Erin added, “I will do the exercises he prescribed for the next few weeks. 😅 I wish you all access to good physical therapists in your life. Thank God I’ve got one who learned from the best.”

In the comment section of the post, Erin and Clark’s mom, Karen Rasberry, wrote, “My children are the best at what they do. Equally proud of both of them.”

Erin Napier Has Faced Multiple Health Challenges Over the Years

Erin has struggled with a variety of health issues over the years, which she’s been open about with her fans.

In May 2022, Erin was hospitalized overnight to have throat surgery. She later revealed she’d had an abscessed tonsil and required IV steroids, which caused her to look “puffy” on episodes of “Home Town” that she filmed soon after, she tweeted.

In Erin and Ben’s 2018 book, “Make Something Good Today,” she revealed that she’d also suffered for 10 years from a mysterious illness that was eventually diagnosed as a perforated appendix.

“”It was a really sad and scary and confusing ten years,” she told People, adding that her symptoms began at age 19. “In the beginning, it would be 24 hours of terrible stomach pain and a low-grade fever, and then it would disappear.”

But her episodes eventually became more frequent and lasted for days at a time, with no known cause.

“There were many doctors who, after tests and scans, gave me false hope with various diagnoses that didn’t pan out,” she wrote in her book. “Each time, I was a like a child, believing their every word, thankful to have some kind of answer on the way. But they all came up empty. All that we found were discarded theories about my gallbladder, celiac disease, abdominal migraines, ulcers, intestinal parasites, and a doctor who suggested that it was all in my mind.”

In 2014 — the same year that HGTV asked them to shoot a pilot for “Home Town” — Erin underwent emergency exploratory surgery, which revealed her organs “were all bound together, fused by a tissue that covered everything,” People reported.

A second surgery revealed that her appendix had burst open and healed itself repeatedly since she was 19, creating scar tissue that wrapped itself around other organs in Erin’s body. Though surgery finally fixed the physical issue, the trauma of that decade has been difficult to shake mentally and emotionally, she has shared.

“I’ve been learning through conversation with my friend who is a therapist that it left some deep ruts in my neuro pathways that have left me with an extreme fear and preoccupation with sickness, nausea in particular, ever since,” she wrote on Instagram in January 2022. “My brain, without my permission, sets off on a fight or flight mission to save my life, when my life is not in any danger at all.”

“This is something you don’t know about me, but I don’t mind if you do,” she explained. “It’s not bad or good, it’s just part of my weird brain and I’m trying to untangle it every day, even as you may see happy news and posts from me. That’s everyone though, isn’t it? We’ve all got our personal struggles. But isn’t it so nice to have this place for editing the hard parts out? Like seeing the people you love most gathered around your hospital bed, there’s always a light in the darkness.”