When Dr. David D. Wartinger had a number of patients report they spontaneously passed kidney stones after riding the same roller coaster at Walt Disney World in Orlando, he decided to try to corroborate their accounts through a little science. With the help of a 3D printed model kidney and a backpack, new research published today backs up the notion of what could be called the “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” home remedy for kidney stones.
“Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones,” Wartinger said in a statement.
The emeritus professor of urology at Michigan State University teamed up with co-author Marc A. Mitchell to create a clear silicone anatomical model of the kidney of one patient in particular — the man claimed that he passed one kidney stone after each of three consecutive rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The model was filled with urine and a trio of different sized stones, then concealed in a backpack and taken for 20 rides with the permission of the park. Researchers analyzed how each of the three stones ended up after each ride and found that sitting in the back of the roller coaster could be the best strategy for passage. Back seat rides led to almost two-thirds of the stones passing, compared to just one-sixth following front seat rides.
The findings are published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
“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,” explained Wartinger.
Let us help you get a vacation booked and get those Fast Passes for Big Thunder Mountain! If only we could use medical savings plans for the expenses... :)
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