Members “shocked” at PCEC meeting

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Shockwave Therapy – something new in pain relief.  This was the topic at the Sunday, May 20 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. The speaker was Dr. Suttaporn Rattanapanop, M.D., from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. Dr. Suttaporn’s specialty is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He received his Doctorate of Medicine in 1991 from Pramongutlao College of Medicine and in 2001 received his Diplomate from the Thai Board of Rehabilitation Medicine, Siriraj Hospital. Further, he has also been a Training Fellow in Cardiac Rehabilitation and is a member of the Thai Medical Council.

After being introduced by Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg, Dr. Suttaporn began his talk about shockwave therapy; a relatively new treatment option in orthopedic and rehabilitation medicine. He began by explaining that the medical use of shock waves started in Germany. They were used to disintegrate kidney stones precluding the need for surgery.

After being introduced by MC Richard Silverberg, Dr. Suttaporn Rattanapanop, M.D., from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, began his talk of shockwave therapy by defining the technology and illustrating its uses.After being introduced by MC Richard Silverberg, Dr. Suttaporn Rattanapanop, M.D., from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, began his talk of shockwave therapy by defining the technology and illustrating its uses.

Although the use of shockwaves to treat tendon related pain began in the early 1990s, it required the use of an operating room and anesthesia. Now there is a relatively new procedure in the use of shockwave therapy that can be done without anesthesia on an outpatient basis.

This newer form of shock wave therapy has been found to be very effective in relieving pain and improving the healing process. The shockwaves cause inflammation in the area, which results in the body sending healing cells as well as an increase the blood flow to the injured area. He explained that a clinical shockwave is nothing more than a controlled explosion that creates a sonic pulse, much like an airplane breaking the sound barrier.

Using diagrams, Dr. Suttaporn described the machine and how it is used on various parts of the body. Shockwaves are used to treat many orthopedic conditions, including plantar fasciitis (heel spurs), patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee), lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) and shoulder tendinitis.

A fortunate Pattaya City Expats Club member undergoes a free shockwave treatment for a stiff knee, courtesy of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.A fortunate Pattaya City Expats Club member undergoes a free shockwave treatment for a stiff knee, courtesy of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.

A probe is placed on the area of greatest tenderness and the shockwaves are delivered over several minutes. Sometimes, there can be some discomfort at the treatment site. The patient is able to advise the doctor if there is any discomfort so the intensity of the shockwave can be changed, if needed.

Patients are usually treated with 3 to 5 sessions about a week apart. Although some patients report immediate pain relief, the healing response usually takes a few weeks. Dr. Suttaporn said that the treatment is also available in the USA and it is his understanding it costs about US$200 or more per session. At Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, the charge is about 1,250 baht per session.

In concluding his presentation, he said that they had brought the machine to demonstrate on anyone wishing to volunteer.  There were three or four volunteers that gave it a try – with some comments heard afterward that it did bring some pain relief.

Pattaya Players chairman Chris Parsons invites PCEC members to the players newest presentation, ‘Play On’, on Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2. This introspective comedy starts at 7, with dinner before at 5 p.m. More details at www. pattayaplayers.org.Pattaya Players chairman Chris Parsons invites PCEC members to the players newest presentation, ‘Play On’, on Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2. This introspective comedy starts at 7, with dinner before at 5 p.m. More details at www. pattayaplayers.org.

During the meeting, a nurse from the hospital was providing free blood pressure checks for members and guests and Richard updated everyone on upcoming events. He then called on Roy Albiston to conduct the always interesting and lively Open Forum where questioned are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand; Pattaya in particular.

The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www. pattayacityexpatsclub.com.