A Roller Coaster Ride Might Break Small Kidney Stones

According to researchers, yearly more than 300,000
people in the United States seek
emergency care for kidney
stones, costing an estimated $2.1
billion. The report also said that about 11 percent
of men and 6 percent of women
will have a kidney stone in their
lifetime.

Preliminary research now suggests that anyone
who's suffered a kidney stone might get relief and get the obstruction
gone in a fun way: a roller
coaster ride.

According to Dr.
David Wartinger, a professor of
urology at the Michigan State
University College of Osteopathic
Medicine, in East Lansing, some kidney stones suffers have been saying
that these
amusement park rides can help
pass a small stone.


Accordingly, his team's
conducted research on the Big Thunder
Mountain Railroad and Space
Mountain roller coasters at
Orlando's Walt Disney World to support that view that riding a roller
coaster could eliminate kidney stones.

In this study, Wartinger's group
used 3D printing to create a clear
silicone model of a kidney that
contained urine, plus three
different-sized kidney stones.
They placed the kidney model in
a backpack and took it on 60
roller coaster rides.

In a news
release from The Journal of the
American Osteopathic
Association, Wartinger said " a ride on a moderate-intensity
roller coaster could benefit some
patients with small kidney
stones."

According to the study which results was
published in the journal on Sept.
26, the passage rate of stones was
nearly 17 percent when the
backpack/model was in the front
of a roller coaster, and skyrocketed to
nearly 64 percent when it was in
the back of a roller coaster. The researchers noted that
the position of the stone within
the model didn't seem to matter. The study suggests that the fun
ride might be therapeutic for
small kidney stones -- and that's
no small matter.
"Passing a kidney stone before it
reaches an obstructive size can
prevent surgeries and
emergency room visits,"
Wartinger said. "Roller coaster
riding after treatments like
lithotripsy [using sound waves to
break up stones] and before
planned pregnancies may
prevent stone enlargement."

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