Rodeo Concussions


Living in a semi-rural area and growing up in a western state, rodeo has been a part of my life. From watching the rodeo club in college, to taking dares growing up, to the television, I have enjoyed the sport and even wanted to be on the Justin Sports Medicine team.

Something crossed my mind for the first time last night as I was watching the second round of the PBR national finals. “How many and how often do these cowboys participate with concussions?” I thought this because I noticed, also for the first time, that the riders without a cage/helmet stuck out more than the ones with protective head-gear. In fact there may have been more helmets than cowboy hats.

The ultimate “macho” man sport likely wears head injuries like a badge of honor, but these could be leading to horrific ends, and we don’t even know about it. When you search “rodeo concussions” on Google (News) you get returned with 11 results with in the past 3 months. For comparison “soccer concussions” gets 370 results in October alone and “football concussions”, 472 in a week.

With the NFR coming up in Las Vegas I suppose we may see more articles on this injury in rodeo, but awareness needs to trickle down to all sports at all levels. For us as medical professionals to say “football only” would be hypocritical, it may be the most popular but concussions in sport can happen at anytime to anyone.

Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association

2 thoughts on “Rodeo Concussions

  1. Jeffrey Rovell January 15, 2011 / 15:32

    Brain Pad Jaw Joint Protectors are a significant way to reduce the risk of concussions.
    Product has been used by Rodeo riders for over 10 years.

    • Philp Morson D.O. January 26, 2014 / 12:18

      As I see it the big danger is from their heads being violently shaken in one direstion and then another. This has to lead to what is called contrecoups injuries, that helmets really don’t prevent

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