Riding A Roller Coaster Could Help You Pass Kidney Stones

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Well, that's certainly one unique way to help you pass kidney stones.

According to a new paper published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, riding a moderately intense roller coaster for a few minutes could be enough to dislodge small kidney stones.

Researchers found that riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World's Magic Kingdom helped kidney stones dislodge after the idea for the study came from urologist David Wartinger, whose patient passed three small stones in less than an hour while riding the the roller coaster three times in a row.

kidney stoneAn 8mm kidney stone.

For those you haven't had the distinct hell of knowing intimately what they are, a kidney stone is a "hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract," reports MedicineNet.com. Passing a kidney stone through the urinary tract can be very painful, and they result in about 300,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. each year.

For the study, Wartinger and his colleague, Marc Mitchell, used a silicone model kidney filled with urine and real kidney stones, carried it onto the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster in a backpack and positioned it to align with the real location of the kidneys.

They rode the coaster 60 times with the fake kidney, noting the position of the stones and re-positioning any that had become dislodged after each ride. They found that sitting at the front part of the roller coaster resulted in a passage rate of 16.67 per cent, whereas sitting in the back of the ride resulted in passing a stone 63.80 per cent of the time.

kidney stone

Although the study couldn't determine for sure why roller coasters help dislodge stones, Wartinger has a theory.

"We know that the moderate intensity coaster worked. You don't need 70 mile an hour coasters, you don't need precipitous drops, you don't need inversions, you don't need high speed turns. What I think is happening is we're vibrating the stones loose," Wartinger said.

To help prevent kidney stones from developing, studies suggest a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts to reduce the risk.

Check out the slideshow below to learn how to recognize the symptoms of kidney stones.

Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
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