Arthritis, what it is and treatment available – Pattaya City Expats Club

Dr. Pratya Jaratjitwilai describes the characteristics of osteoarthritis and how it differs from inflammatory arthritis.

The Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) meeting for Wednesday, October 12, occurred on World Arthritis Day. The guest presenters were two doctors from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya (BHP) that diagnose and treat arthritis patients.

The PCEC followed a different format for this presentation; instead of the doctors giving a presentation, there were two people to ask questions about arthritis (MC Ren Lexander and Deputy Head of BHP’s International Marketing Department Wallapha (Tanya) Sawasdikool. Providing the answers were doctors Nantharath Wongwara-Aporn, MD, Rheumatologist, and Pratya Jaratjitwilai, MD, Orthopedist.

The first questions related to what is arthritis. The answer is joint pain which may be the result of inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis or both. Inflammatory arthritis is a group of diseases caused by an overactive immune system. The most common symptoms are joint pain and stiffness. Affected joints may feel warm, swollen, and tender. But inflammatory arthritis can also affect other tissues in the body, including the lungs, heart, eyes, skin, and other organs. Osteoarthritis is a common condition causing wear-and-tear of the cartilage of the joints due to age and/or prior injury.

Dr. Nantharath Wongwara-Aporn describes the approach doctors take to determine whether joint pain is the result of inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing joint pain, you can choose to visit a rheumatologist or an orthopedist. Both will have the same initial approach which is to identify the source of the pain; it most likely will be caused by either inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis. This initial approach will involve medical history and a physical examination followed by laboratory tests or imaging, as needed.

If you visit a Rheumatologist and the source of pain is osteoarthritis, they will refer you to an orthopedist and vice versa. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will determine the best treatment to first stop the pain and then to prevent or reduce the chance of it recurring. The treatment can involve medicine, rehab exercises, managing your weight, as well as psychological, social, and sleep intervention. In the case of inflammatory arthritis, initial treatment will be to alleviate pain and make changes in your lifestyle you need to make to prevent further occurrence. In the case of osteoarthritis, treatment can be oral medication, injections, or surgery followed by recommended exercises to strengthen the joints.

After the presentation, Tanya Sawasdikool conducted the Lucky Draw awarding several vouchers for some free diagnostic tests at Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. MC Ren Lexander then updated the audience on upcoming events and called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand. To view the presentation on the PCEC’s YouTube Channel, visit For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at


Dr. Pratya Jaratjitwilai recommended some exercises that will help in preventing osteoarthritis as MC Ren Lexander demonstrates them.

MC Ren Lexander presents the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation to doctors Nantharath Wongwara-Aporn and Pratya Jaratjitwilai for their informative presentation about arthritis and to BHP’s Wallapha (Tanya) Sawasdikool for her continued assistance in coordinating with the PCEC in obtaining knowledgeable speakers from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.

MC Ren Lexander interviews doctors Pratya Jaratjitwilai and Nantharath Wongwara-Aporn after their presentation. To view the video, visit the PCEC’s YouTube channel at

A Club member takes advantage of the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s free health screening which also provided a Lucky Draw ticket for one of the Hospital’s free vouchers to be given away.

MC Ren Lexander poses with doctors Nantharath Wongwara-Aporn and Pratya Jaratjitwilai along with the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s staff that provided free health screening at the meeting for PCEC members and guests.