Rodeo Athletes & Neck Pain

This is another fascinating study that compared the post-motor vehicle accident (MVA) self-reported outcome of “regular” folks to rodeo riders.

Rodeo athletes and spectators attending rodeo events were asked to recall their car accident experience.




(regular folks)

Rodeo Riders


Recalled being in an MVA
59% 47%
Recalled acute neck or back pain related to the accident
61% 33%
Duration of symptoms
73 days (+/- 61 days) 30 days (+/- 14 days)
Recalled symptoms lasting > 60 days
15% 0%
Average # Weeks taken off work post MVA
Less than 3 weeks Greater than 6 weeks


The type of vehicle and occupation types were the same for both groups.


The million dollar question…

Why do rodeo athletes appear to be more resistant than spectators to developing prolonged pain and disability after similar car accidents?

Are they tougher? Stronger? Less pain focused?



Reference: Shannon AL et al Alberta rodeo athletes do not develop the chronic whiplash syndrome. J Rheumatol. 2006 May;33(5):975-7.


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