70ºF

Looking to pass a small kidney stone? Have you tried a roller coaster?

Disney World ride tested for effectiveness

ORLANDO, Fla. – For most of us, when we ride a roller coaster, we may sense a dropping feeling in our stomachs or a skip in our heartbeats -- or we might even let out a burst of laughter.

Some might feel as if they got kicked in the gut or a sense of ugency to visit the restroom.

These are all common symptoms that can come with passing kidney stones, and get this: a new study found that these effects roller coasters can have on the body just might help people pass a stubborn stone.

More specifically, researchers found that moderate-intensity, rattling roller coasters might prove to be effective at dislodging small kidney stones in the outer ducts of the kidney and pushing them toward the ureter, which is the tube that connects the kidneys and the bladder.

In the report, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, researchers suggest that riding a roller coaster may help patients who have kidney stones that are 5 millimeters in diameter or smaller. David Wartinger, a professor emeritus at Michigan State University, told The New York Times in 2016, "The idea is to displace these little stones before they become big stones and cause a lot of pain and suffering."

So what it sounds like is, riding coasters can be good for you.

Wartinger was inspired to conduct the study after seeing several people who successfully passed their kidney stones after going on a ride at a theme park. One in particular passed kidney stones after riding Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World in Florida three consecutive times. 

Wartinger teamed up with a urologist to create a 3D-printed silicone model of a patient's kidney. The two filled their silicone kidney with kidney stones and urine and headed to Disney World.

 

The two boarded the ride, holding their model kidney at the right height and began riding the coaster. The doctors rode the coaster 20 times. During each ride, they were often able to see the stones move toward the top of the ureter.

Wondering where to sit to get the best results?

The two found that there was a higher success rate when they were sitting in the back of the coaster compared to the front. 

Just to be clear, James Borin, a urologist and assistant professor at New York University, told The Times, "This study is really designed for people who have very small stones."

Medical professionals recommend that you discuss this idea with your own doctor first before hopping aboard a runaway train, hoping for the best cure. If approved, who knows? You may be able to get rid of one of those pesky stones while also having fun.


About the Author: