Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Tue September 27 2016

REPORT: Roller Coasters Could Help Pass Kidney Stones

Entertainment | Donald Wood | September 27, 2016

REPORT: Roller Coasters Could Help Pass Kidney Stones

Photo: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster. (Photo via @RickGriffin)

If you love roller coasters and have a kidney stone, we have some good news for you.

According to, researchers Dr. David Wartinger and Dr. Marc Mitchell of Michigan State University believe that certain kidney stones can be more easily passed after riding on roller coasters and other thrill rides.

To test the theory, the two doctors traveled to Orlando to conduct testing on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Walt Disney World. The men crafted a model kidney out of clear silicone gel and filled it with real human kidney stones.

With the faux kidney in a backpack next to them at the height it would be inside a human body, the men rode the roller coaster 20 times in one day and took notes on how each kidney stone reacted. They noted a trend that suggests riders in the back of the train knocked the kidney stones out, with a passage rate of 23 of 36 in the back and a passage rate of four of 24 when riding in the front.

While the test was conducted on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster, the belief is that most thrill rides would have the same effect. After testing the kidney stone theories over 200 times on Big Thunder, the men will now begin testing it on other amusement park rides.

It’s not all fun and games for Wartinger, though, who acknowledged that after 20 trips on a roller coaster, the “novelty is gone.”

The lengths we will go to for science.


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