SALINAS, Calif. - It's not just the cowboys and cowgirls that hit the rodeo circuit for months on end. There's a mobile medical team that goes to all of the events also.
Competitors said they trust the folks at Justin Sports Medicine because they've seen each other at events and have built those relationships. Because the team at Justin knows their medical histories, they listen to their advice.
They average about 25 patients a day, but on Thursday, 49 came in for all different ailments. They're well stocked, driving around a large trailer full of medical equipment. The sports medicine team has folks trained in physical therapy, chiropractics and first aid. Of course, if you come in with a broken bone, they can't do much for you here.
"It's a rodeo," Rick Foster said, program director for Justin Sports Medicine said. "It's a contact sport, but you gotta look at the opponent. We talk about hockey and football. We get a little worried when we're taking about a 295 lb. guy hits you. Here we have a 1,200 lb horse, a 600 lb steer, a one ton bull, so the forces are much greater. We treat strains, sprains, contusions, just with more severity in the Rodeo."
They say they couldn't do their work without the help of the local doctors and nurses here. They often consult each other for medical advice. In fact, a lot of the doctors call Justin's "tape masters," because they use a lot to treat the competitors. A while back they did an informal study and found during the course of the year, they use enough tape to stretch from one end of the coast to the other.