Athletic Advantage: Rodeo Injuries

One of the most popular sports in the state of Texas is also one of the most dangerous. Kids from all around the lone star state grow up competing in rodeos.  Whether you're steer roping, bull riding, or even mutton busting for the kids, there are always risks involved.
          So what are the risks and how can they be avoided?  That's what Alex Zannes asks in this week's athletic advantage. When it comes to Rodeo's, the most common injury, is all of them, "It's head and face, and then probably knee shoulder, and then arm elbow, but you can see anything from broken bones to internal bleeding if they get stepped on, to spinal injuries."
    If you want a to make a sport more dangerous, how about throwing in a 2500 pound bull into the mix, or maybe a bucking bronco with the sole job of throwing you off into the dirt.  Well that's rodeo, a sport that can produce some devastating injuries. "Years ago i was at the national finals rodeo in Las Vegas and i saw a Bull rider come out of the gate and get kicked in the head..." 
    That's right, kicked in the head.  But this is just one of the risks rodeo competitors assume every time they saddle up, and the injuries can go beyond the bull riding competition.
    "With team roping you could have the tip of your thumb cut off when they're tying the rope around the legs.  Bull riding you can have everything from a concussion to broken bones. Same thing with bronc riding and saddle bronc riding..."
    Just like with any other sport, if you feel that you're injured, make sure to check with trainers and see if they think an x-ray or MRI is necessary. There are also other steps you can take.  "Wear what safety equipment rodeo does allow, I know with bull riding right now you have the option of wearing a protective helmet, Or not.  Wearing the helmet is gonna at least save your head and face from getting totally tore up."
    In addition to helmets and safety gear, it's important to see a trainer if you feel that anything may be wrong, because properly diagnosing an injury is the best way to keep you safe, and to get you back out doing what you love.

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