Anyone who has ever been on the floor, writhing in pain from a lodged kidney stone, knows that the thought of going to an amusement park -- or anywhere other than the emergency room -- is out of the question. But if you’ve developed small stones in the outer ducts of the kidney, researchers from Michigan State University say that a ride on a roller coaster can help those stones pass through to the bladder. The 2016 study, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, found that the rattling intensity of a coaster ride can be beneficial to patients with stones that are five millimeters (.2 inches) or less in diameter.
How to get stones rolling:
- “The idea is to displace these little stones before they become big stones and cause a lot of pain and suffering,” says professor David Wartinger, who was an author of the study.
- Wartinger said that he conducted the study after hearing stories from patients. One claimed that stones passed after three consecutive rides on the Big Thunder Mountain coaster at Disney World.
- The researchers used a 3D-printed silicone cast of a kidney to test if stones would move during coaster rides. Success rates were a lot higher when they sat in cars near the back of the coaster.