The End for Peyton Manning?


If you’re a football fan at all, then you’ve followed the career of Peyton Manning. While you may not have done it intentionally, it’s hard not to have followed his career throughout the years because of the success he’s had on the field:

  • Nearly 72,000 passing yards
  • 539 touchdown passes
  • 13 consecutive seasons with 25 passing touchdowns
  • 186 wins as a starting quarterback
  • 23 consecutive wins as a starter

While you may not be a fan of Peyton’s or his team(s), you can’t help but respect his abilities on the field and the fact that he has been able to survive in the NFL for 17 seasons (he lost the 2011 season to injury). Those stats listed above are all NFL records and a very small sampling of the total number of records he holds. I think it’s safe to say that Manning will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

But let’s talk about his injuries for just a minute. After all, the title of this post questions if we are seeing the final days of Peyton. While he has been relatively healthy throughout his career, save the 2011 season, Manning seems to be breaking down at a quicker pace these last few years. I guess instead of listing some of his stats, I could have listed a few of his recent injuries:

  • 4 neck surgeries
  • 1 torn quad
  • 1 torn plantar fascia

Unfortunately, Manning is falling apart, and he’s falling apart rapidly. Now, most of you approaching 40 (like he is) might chalk these injuries up to Father Time paying him a visit.

Uh-oh…I’m almost 40! That means I’m almost DEAD!

Sound familiar?

However, I don’t believe Manning’s physical decline has anything to do with age, and I don’t believe it has to do with playing professional football for 17 seasons. Remember, there have been countless NFL players who have played well into their 40s and had their careers last for a couple decades. If we’re talking only about quarterbacks who fit that bill, the list includes all-time greats Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen, Warren Moon, Brett Favre, and George Blanda. While the NFL can obviously wreak havoc on the body, it’s not a death sentence. Having a lengthy career and coming out healthy on the back-end of it is a possibility. Just ask John Lynch.

While Manning might connect his injuries to his age or the length of his career, those factors simply can’t take 100% of the blame. At the end of the day his injuries are due to the fact that his body is completely and totally out of alignment. You see, all of these injuries are the effects of an underlying cause. There’s no reason Peyton should have had four neck surgeries. None. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes surgery is necessary, but if you’re going under the knife two, three, FOUR times? Something isn’t right. There’s a HUGE piece of the puzzle that’s missing.

We don’t have to look too far when analyzing Peyton’s posture to find the cause of his neck issues. If we only focus on Manning’s upper-body position and ignore everything else (meaning his hip, knee, and ankle positions), which is an Egoscue no-no because we look at the body as a unit, we see a HUGE deviation in his head and cervical spine position. Take a look:

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.37.10 PM

His head has moved so far forward of the gravity line it’s a miracle it hasn’t rolled away from him. As his head has moved forward, his cervical spine has lost its curvature, and as a result, it’s shock-absorption mechanism. If we can agree that the neck should act like a spring or a Slinky, Peyton’s neck has become nothing more than a straight piece of wire–there is no more “bounce” to it. Add an eight pound helmet to the equation, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Of course his discs are going to herniate. That’s what they’re designed to do! The discs aren’t bad–they’re simply reacting to their surroundings.

Personally, I do believe we’re seeing the end for Manning, but not because he has a “bad neck.” I think we’re seeing the end of Manning, because he and those around him have done nothing to address what’s causing the neck issues, which is the compromised head, neck, and shoulder position.

Sadly, he has yet to call Egoscue. Maybe one day he will. And, hopefully it won’t be too late.

Oh, and the secret to John Lynch’s longevity and health?

“I believe a large part of my success in the NFL is directly related to the Egoscue Method.” – John Lynch

QUESTION: What do you believe is causing your neck pain?