If you have never had a kidney stone in your life, you can consider yourself to be quite fortunate. They may be extremely small but kidney stones are some of the most painful things that a person could ever experience. In fact, there is an ongoing debate as to whether kidney stones are even more painful than childbirth! Some of them require surgery and others simply require that you tough it out and wait for it to pass. As it turns out, there may be a solution that is entirely unexpected.
This solution comes from our friends at Disney World and the solution may be right there in ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’. You heard that right, it seems as if the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster at Disney World in Florida may just help people to pass kidney stones. In fact, this is being investigated closely by a professor from Michigan State University, David Wartinger. He started a study because people were claiming to have passed kidney stones after being on the coaster.
“Basically, I had patients telling me that after riding a particular roller coaster at Walt Disney World, they were able to pass their kidney stones,” Wartinger says in a news release. “I even had one patient say he passed three different stones after riding multiple times.”
It seems like this magical place just got a little more magical.
Wartinger wanted to test the theory so he put together a synthetic 3-D model of a hollow kidney that included three kidney stones no longer than 4 mm. He then went on the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster and rode it 20 times.
What Wartinger found is that there was a 64% passage rate on this model kidney. When was put into the first few cars of the coaster, however, it only had a 16% success rate.
The study was that expanded using the same roller coaster with multiple kidney models attached to researchers. In the second study, the passage rate increased to some 70% when the researchers were sitting in the back cars of the roller coaster. If the kidney stones were in the upper chamber of the kidney, there was a 100% passage rate.
If you feel as if any other roller coaster may do the trick, you will likely be disappointed. Other roller coasters, even at Disney, tend to be too fast and too rough. The G-Force would pin the stone into the kidney, not cause it to pass.
Wartinger explains that the most beneficial roller coaster for passing kidney stones would be quick and rough with a few twists and turns but no upside down or inverted areas.
Kidney stones can form when the urine contains certain crystal forming substances. They tend to be very painful as they work their way through the urinary tract.
Along with using the Disney roller coaster to remove kidney stones, you can also do some things to prevent them.
This is good news for the 300,000 people that go to the emergency room because of kidney stones every year. The treatments may cost up to $10,000 in some cases! Disney can be expensive, but it is obviously much less expensive than an emergency room.
Although it may not help you pass a kidney stone, you can see the Thunder Mountain ride in this video:
If you are unable to make it to Orlando, you can always try the Big Thunder Mountain ride at Disneyland. They are very similar roller coasters.