I know I’m not the only player in Northeast Ohio who has a creaky back, aching knees, tight hips, or some other chronic bone or muscle ailment that can make focusing on golf a challenge. So when I heard Fred Couples’ news conference from this week’s L.A. Open turn to the topic of back pain and what steps he’s taking to keep playing on two tours at a winning level, I started taking some notes.
First, Couples talked about his high-end treatment, the one not approved in the USA, for which he travels to Germany to have done. It’s called Orthokine treatment. (Parental Advisory: their website shows naked pretty people.)
The treatment is said to combat osteoarthritis and nerve root inflammation. Sports mega-stars like Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez have undergone the procedure [Announcer voice:] “…and you can too!” — if you have a few grand to spare and a couple of vacation weeks.
If you don’t have that kind of time or money, Couples also talked about a inflammation-killing supplement he’s been taking called Anatabloc.
“I started taking it two months ago, and I’ve been feeling incredibly well,” Couples said. “It deals with inflammation, and that’s what I have a lot in my body, whether it’s my fingers or shoulders. My back is what it is. It (pain) moves up and down my back because it bounces around. I really believe this stuff (Anatabloc) has helped me.”
Anatabloc costs just 50 cents per tablet, so it may be a better option than the overseas hospital stay.
One final option to curbing golf pain may be something I found visiting last week’s senior Alliance Championship in Boca Raton. They let the public in to the tournament for free (which is why we went), so to generate some cash they send everyone coming off the shuttle bus down this gauntlet of vendors who have paid to be there.
One of the booths offered a product called Golf Pain Away (perfect naming!), a rub-on solution in a bottle shaped like roll-on deodorant. It’s a clear liquid of all-natural stuff (Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus, etc.). The guy rubbed some on my aching hamstring, and much to the dismay of my full-blown skepticism, it actually took away the pain I had in about 15 seconds. In fact, it worked well enough that I actually bought some for $20 per bottle — which is something I almost never do in that type of situation.
Of course, stretching out, eating well, and not getting old are the best options to keeping your body ready for high-level tournament golf. But if you can’t do those things, might as well join me in trying experimental treatments, unregulated pills, and homeopathic potions!