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Colts Indystar.com reports Quarterback Peyton Manning underwent a procedure to relieve pain in his neck caused by a pinched nerve, the Indianapolis Colts announced Wednesday.

The condition “has existed intermittently for the past four years, but at no time did it interfere with his training, practice or playing regimen,” the team said in a statement. “While it never has affected Peyton’s activity on or off the field, the Colts medical staff, after post-playoff examination, thought it best to resolve the situation now.”

The procedure was performed Tuesday by Dr. Richard Fessler in Chicago. Manning stayed overnight and was on his way home Wednesday.

Fessler is a professor in the department of neurosurgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He is recognized as a pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. James Bicos, an orthopedic surgeon with St. Vincent Orthopedic Center in Indianapolis, wouldn’t comment on Manning’s situation, with which he is not familiar, but he offered a general explanation of the problem and course of treatment options.

Bicos said to think of the nerve as an electrical cable surrounded by a liner or insulation, with the copper center being the nerve and emerging from one of seven vertebrae in the neck. When a bone, muscle, tendon or cartilage presses on that cable, it can “pinch” the nerve and result in pain, tingling, even weakness.

Remedies include physical therapy and massage, realignment or chiropractic manipulation and a steroid injection that cushions the nerve and allows irritation to subside.

A more invasive remedy, Bicos said, is decompression, wherein a surgeon removes the bone spur, cartilage or whatever is pressing on the nerve.

The Colts’ statement said all medical personnel involved believe the issue has been resolved and Manning is expected to participate in the team’s offseason program this spring.

Manning has started all 192 regular-season games of his career. He has missed a single play because of injury in his 12 NFL seasons, during a 2001 game against Miami when his jaw was broken on a helmet-to-jaw hit by Dolphins defensive end Lorenzo Bromell.

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