big-thunder-mountain-railroad-00Hate roller coasters? We guess we can understand why some people aren’t fans of them, but the next time you have a kidney stone that you’re trying to pass, you might learn to love roller coasters. Wait, how does a kidney stone and roller coasters relate to each other? Turns out that there is some evidence to suggest that roller coasters can actually help.


This was noticed by urological surgeon David Wartinger who over the years, came across many anecdotal reports from patients who successfully passed small kidney stones after coming back from a trip to Disney theme parks. It was only after one of his patients passed stones multiple times after multiple trips that Wartinger decided that maybe it was too difficult to ignore the correlation.

To figure out why that is, Wartinger 3D printed a clear silicone model of one of his patient’s kidney, and filled it with stones and urine. He then went with his colleague and got permission to conduct his experiment. “We told them what our intent was, and it turned out that the manager that day was a guy who recently had a kidney stone. He called the ride manager and said, do whatever you can to help these guys, they’re trying to help people with kidney stones.”

Ultimately they discovered that it was thanks to centripetal force that helped people pass their kidney stones, although they did discover that it made a difference where you sat in the ride as it seemed that in their tests, there was a higher chance of passage when seated in the back. Now as to whether or not this works for you remains to be seen since it was hardly a very big test and clinical trials still need to be done.

However Wartinger suggests that if you do have a stone smaller than 5mm, maybe try hopping on a couple of roller coaster rides to see if it works out for you. After all, if a few terrifying (or exhilarating, depending on the individual) minutes could save you an expensive trip to the hospital, why not?

Filed in Medical. Read more about Health.

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