Health & FitnessJune 13, 2014

Fitness Friday: When you gotta play hurt

By Ron Kaspriske

Whether it's back spasms, a throbbing knee or a wicked hangover, trying to tee it up in pain can be daunting. But what else are you going to do in Myrtle Beach, go to the outlet mall? With that in mind, we asked a few of our favorite golfing docs to offer quick remedies for the most common golf injuries when you're going to tee it up no matter what.


1.Take a long, hot shower.

2.Stretch by making a series of seated torso or neck rotations in each direction slowly trying to increase range of motion.

3.Take anti-inflammatory meds.

4.Wear a back wrap.

5.Walk the course (riding makes it worse).

6.Use a push (not pull) cart.

7.Shorten up your swing.

Note: If the pain radiates into the arms and legs, you could have nerve compression and should see a doctor. Do not play!


1.Rest with the arm bent and slightly elevated.

2.Warm up the shoulder and wrist with arm-and-hand rotations.

3.Take anti-inflammatory meds.

  1. Wear an elbow compression wrap.

  2. Make a shallower, sweeping swing (thin divots).

  3. Ice for 10 minutes at the turn and 10 minutes after the round.


1.Ice for 10 minutes and keep it elevated while resting.

2.Warm up the back, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and ankles. Lunges with torso rotations to each side will help.

3.Take anti-inflammatory meds.

4.Wear a compressive knee brace.

5.Use a golf cart.

Note: If the knee feels locked or unstable, do not play.

Related: How to protect your knees


1.Roll the foot back and forth over a frozen water bottle before you play.

2.Stretch hamstrings and Achilles tendon. Lunges and hip-hinge exercises help.

  1. Take anti-inflammatory meds.

  2. Wear a 3/8-inch heel pad or metatarsal pad (front of the foot) depending on pain location.

  3. Take a cart instead of walking.

Related: Healing your heels


1.Take an inhaled nasal steroid (prescription) or over-the-counter antihistamine before the round.

2.Use eye drops during the round.

3.Wear sunglasses to block pollen.


1.Apply aloe skin cream.

2.Take acetaminophen.

3.Wear a "physical-blocker" sunscreen (contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).

4.Wear clothing with UPF protection.

Note: If the skin is blistery and you are running a fever, you probably have sun poisoning. Do not play.


  1. Drain with a sterile needle.

  2. Leave blistered skin on.

  3. Apply antiseptic cream.

  4. Cover with a bandage.

  5. Tape over the bandage.


  1. Drink a lot of water.

  2. Eat a big, bland breakfast.

  3. Take acetaminophen.

  4. Avoid talkative playing partner.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.

Follow @Ron Kaspriske

Illustration by Spur Design

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