Rodeo athletes have often been called a breed of their own and now University of Alberta research looking into how they deal with whiplash injuries confirms it.
Dr. Robert Ferrari, from the U of As Department of Medicine, has conducted several studies on whiplash and patients expectations of recovery. Last year while on a radio talk show, he was explaining how Canadians have a worse outcome than those recovering from similar injuries in other countries. Since we are all anatomically built the same way, he said, the cultural expectations of injury and the way we treat them is part of the problem. One of the callers suggested looking at rodeo athletes since that group tends to incur significant injuries, yet have different attitudes about "getting back on the horse."
Ferrari, along with U of A Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics student Ashley Shannon and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistrys Dr. Anthony Russell, investigated whether a group of rodeo athletes would report more benign outcomes to their motor vehicle whiplash injuries than a group of spectators at those events. The findings were recently presented at the Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting and published in the Journal of Rheumatology. Because many of the spectators come from similar backgrounds as the rodeo athletes--often in ranching or farming--the team wanted to learn if a difference existed between the two groups. Participants--about 160 rodeo cowboys and 140 spectators--were asked to recall motor vehicle collision experiences, the type of vehicle they were in, the presence of symptoms as a result and the outcomes for those symptoms.
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