Are you struggling with a kidney stone? This study says that you can dislodge them by riding a rollercoaster – and the research just won the Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.
The Ig Nobel Prize is a spoof award for amusing – but still real – scientific research. All the studies that are given awards are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, but they all live within the realm of strange and improbable research.
This year, a Michigan State University professor received the prize for discovering that riding a roller coaster helps patients pass kidney stones with nearly a 70% success rate.
David Wartinger, a professor emeritus in the Department of Osteopathic Surgical Specialties, led both a pilot study and an expanded study to assess whether the stories he was hearing from patients were true.
His pilot study is published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
“Basically, I had patients telling me that after riding a particular roller coaster at Walt Disney World, they were able to pass their kidney stone,” Wartinger said. “I even had one patient say he passed three different stones after riding multiple times.”
This resulted in Wartinger going out and testing the theory. Using a validated, synthetic 3D model of a hollow kidney complete with three kidney stones no larger than 4 millimeters inserted into the replica, he took the model in a backpack on Big Thunder Mountain at the theme park 20 times. His initial results verified patient reports.
“In the pilot study, sitting in the last car of…
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