Archie Manning Shares His Road to Relief

Sometimes even when you are in the best of shape, you’re not immune to spine problems. That is exactly what happened to former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Archie Manning. After years on the football field, Manning was still very active, maintaining his health with routine workouts. Then 10-12 years ago he started having back pain.

“I felt like I stayed in shape but I got a little cocky about it, all of a sudden first thing was my back,” said Manning. “My doctor said ‘did you have a car wreck?’ I said, I’ve had a lot of car wrecks.”


Manning tried yoga and Pilates all while still continuing his workouts. He even got to the point where started getting injections. It gave him temporary relief, but then the back pain would always come back.

When asked how he decided it was time for surgery Manning said, “You’ll know when it is time. For me, I couldn’t stand up.”

Manning’s doctor, James Woodall Jr., MD, found two of Manning’s discs had collapsed on the left side in his lumbar spine, causing severe nerve compression. Dr. Woodall worked on an old teammate of Manning. After talking for several months about different treatment options, Dr. Woodall determined that the NuVasive® XLIF® procedure was the optimal solution to restore height and stability to the collapsed disc space.

“It was hard, it was tough, rehab was tough,” said Manning. “But I wanted to do it and three years later I’m right back to my old self. I’m just so much further along. I’m playing golf. My back feels good. I take care of it, I work out, I’m careful. My quality of life is definitely better.”

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