top of page

Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office?

Q: My child is active in athletics at school and in summer programs, and often has shoulder and knee pain. Why does this keep happening?

A: Sports offer children and adolescents many benefits. But their growing bones make them more susceptible to injury, especially when overused muscles become inflamed and painful.

During growth spurts in children, bones can grow faster than the related muscles and tendons. This irregular growth rate can lead to tight and inflexible muscles, making them more prone to injury. Repeatedly using certain muscle groups, such as shoulder muscles with swimmers or leg muscles in runners, without proper stretching or adequate rest can cause repetitive overuse injuries.

Overused and inflamed muscles need rest. Without it, inflammation builds up and can lead to more serious injuries like a tear or fracture.

Make sure your child is training gradually, using proper stretching techniques with warmups and cooldowns, icing muscles after activity, and taking time off each week for the body to rest and recover. Participating in different sports activities is important to strengthen more of the body’s muscles.

If your young athlete’s pain continues, even after following these guidelines, talk with their primary care provider about possible treatment options.

— James Pash, DO, Mid-Valley Children’s Clinic

Q: My child isn’t listening to me and keeps acting out. How can I get them to listen and learn not to act out?

A: Start with using positive reinforcement, instead of discipline. Praising your child’s good behavior versus focusing on the negative is proven to be more effective in helping a child learn and grow. Below are some ways to use positive reinforcement with your child.

Praise small wins — Focus on good behaviors that are small and maybe even seem ordinary. These small wins happen throughout the day and are good ways to compliment your child.

Give rewards — Have rewards for small steps that can help your child achieve a bigger goal. Don’t have a grand reward for a long-term goal that might seem unachievable to your child.

Be consistent — Consistency with praising your child as well as setting boundaries can help your child build the behavior you are trying to encourage.

Follow through — It is important to build trust with your child, which includes following through. This means not making a promise you will not keep. Give a reward when it is promised, as well as an appropriate consequence as warned. Always follow through with it.

— Fagan Brown, LCSW, Samaritan Albany General Hospital Behavioral Health — Pleasant View


Brought to you by:

Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line

at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.


bottom of page