Anyone who’s had a kidney stone can tell you it’s one of the most agonizing things that can ever happen to you. Your body literally forces a rock out of a place where a rock should not be. Treating kidney stones is tough too, since the only options for getting rid of them short of just getting rid of your kidneys are getting them out before they get too large, or undergoing painful surgery.
Until today, now you can just hit the local amusement park every weekend! You read that right. Researchers from Michigan State University hit on the strange idea when one of their research subjects reported passing a stone each time he rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World. Kidney stones are hard to treat because everybody’s kidney is different, and they form in a few different ways, so it’s a bit like the common cold. There are just too many avenues for them to form to develop a consistent, effective treatment. So a consistent, reproducible method of getting stones out would be a big, big deal.
They made a silicone cast of the inside of the subject’s kidney, loaded it up with stones, and hit Disney World’s coasters 60 times to find out just what had happened, and discovered that sitting in the back of the coaster led to the cast passing stones 64 percent of the time. The motion of the coaster jostles the stones loose, letting them drift further through the kidney, until out they come.
Since everybody’s kidneys are different, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad might not be the exact cure for everyone’s kidney stones. On the other hand, if a urologist orders you to go to Disneyland and go on all the rides, are you really going to argue? It beats the heck out of surgery, although with Disney park prices, maybe ask your doctor if Six Flags is right for you.