- Researchers from The Michigan
State University carried out research to study patient accounts of losing
kidney stones while riding a roller coaster.
- Study finds that kidney stones
that are smaller than 4mm can be dislodged when riding a moderate
intensity roller coaster.
- The chances of dislodging a kidney
stone are higher when riding the last car of the roller coaster.
of Disney World Roller coaster ride that is moderate intensity and which was
found to remove small kidney
has been corroborated in the study published in the Journal
of The American Osteopathic Association.
There have been
many accounts of people who went on the 'Big Thunder Mountain Roller Coaster
ride' and having passed their kidney stones, so scientists from Michigan State
University decided to study if these accounts were true.
‘A roller coaster ride helps pass kidney stones.’
Wartinger, an Emeritus professor from The Michigan State University had heard
many accounts of his patients passing kidney stones when they went on the
roller coaster ride or bungee jumping. One patient claimed that he lost three
different types of kidney stones when he went on the roller coaster ride, so
the professor and his colleague Dr. Mark Mitchell decided to go to Orlando's
Disney World to find out.
3D Model to Study
Roller Coaster Effect on Kidney Stones
obtained the necessary permission from the Disney World authorities and created
a silicone 3D model of a kidney
, filled it
with urine and placed three different kidney stones, not measuring more than
4mm. They placed the kidney in a backpack and placed it at different positions
on the roller coaster. The backpack containing the study model was taken on 20
rides on the roller coaster to validate the results that were obtained.
- When the backpack was placed on
the last car of the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster ride, there was a
63.89% chance of the passage of the stone.
- When the backpack was placed in
the front car of the ride, there was a 16.67% chance of the passage of the
- When the researchers rode the
roller coaster ride with the models attached to them, there was a 70%
chance of passage of stones when they sat in the last car.
- There was 100% passage of the
kidney stone if it was in the upper chamber of the kidney.
- The Big Thunder Mountain roller
coaster ride at Disney World was found to be the only effective roller
coaster that helped pass kidney stones.
- The rides space Mountain and
Aerosmith's rock'n'Roll rides did not result in the passage of stones.
Dr.Wartinger concluded that rides that did not have too many twists
and turns and no upside down or inverted aspects to the ride were found to be
useful in the passage of kidney stone. Rides that were extremely thrilling or
with a very high G force resulted in the kidney stone being pinned onto the
kidney instead of being dislodged.
He said "Preliminary study
findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity
roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones. Passing a
kidney stone before it reaches an obstructive size can prevent surgeries and
emergency room visits. Roller coaster riding after treatments like lithotripsy
and before planned pregnancies may prevent stone enlargement and the
complications of ureteral obstruction."
Kidney stones are formed in any
individual when the substances present in the urine get too concentrated and
form a solid piece. The kidney stones may remain in the kidney or may pass down
the urinary tract and get attached to certain parts, leading to blockage of
urine. When the size of the stone is small, the kidney stones may be passed
along with the urine but if they are large, they would have to be removed with
medical intervention. The blockage of urine by the kidney stones can lead to
pain or bleeding.
Types of Kidney Stones
Treatment for Kidney Stones
- Calcium stones: These are the type of kidney stones that are most often
- Uric acid stone: This type of kidney stone is formed when the urine is
- Struvite stones: These kidney stones are formed when there is a kidney
- Cystine stones: These are the result of a genetic disorder that leads to the
leakage of cysteine into the kidney.
The kidney stones are removed
using any of the following methods:
- Shock wave lithotripsy: Shock waves generated
by a lithotripter are used to break the kidney stones into smaller pieces
that are passed out in the urine.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A
nephroscope which is a wire thin instrument, is used remove the kidney
- Ureteroscopy: A tube like instrument that has
an eye piece, called ureteroscope, is used to view the kidney stones and
to remove them.
Kidney stones are common with
over 300,000 patients in The United States. The cost of treatment is estimated
to be 2.1 million＄. The study by the Michigan State University researchers could do
away with treatment, at least among people suffering from kidney stones that
are below 4mm.
Dr. Wartinger adds,"The
osteopathic philosophy of medicine emphasizes prevention
and the body's natural ability to
heal. What could be more osteopathic than finding a relatively low-cost,
non-invasive treatment that could prevent suffering for hundreds of thousands
of patients? "
The study, if validated further,
could prove to be a fun way to lose the kidney stones. This will prove to be
highly beneficial for patients who are afraid of medical interventions like
children. A roller coaster ride gives you a rush of adrenaline, the thrill of
entertainment and a chance at losing a kidney stone, therapeutic in every
- Kidney Stones in Adults - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/kidney-stones-in-adults/Pages/facts.aspx)