Cotton Chiropractic Homepage

Mon 9am-12pm & 2pm-6pm
Tue 2pm - 6pm
Wed 8am - 12pm
Thurs 9am-12pm & 2pm-6pm
Fri - Sun Closed

117 Sheraton Drive
Salem, Virginia 24153



Children's Health

"The only time he poops good is when he gets adjusted." - Sierra F.

We often see the largest benefits of chiropractic care occur when children get adjusted. Does this come as a surprise to you? The truth is, chiropractic care is not about neck pain and back pain. When focusing on optimizing nervous system function as opposed to traditional musculoskeletal conditions, children are able to thrive and develop at their best!

Nervous system 101

Your nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves that control and regulate all functions of the body. The role of the nervous system is best described by Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD in stating, “The role of the nervous system is to perceive it’s environment and coordinate the behavior of all cells accordingly.” When nervous system interference is present, the result often appears as childhood health problems. We use gentle and safe techniques that reduce these interferences so your child’s body develops and thrives as it was designed. The result is open communication pathways between your child’s brain and body, which leads to better health and development.

Chiropractic and childrenLittles

When a child steps into our office, we get down to the bottom of why they are exhibiting health complaints. Our detailed history and examinations are designed specifically to figure out if nervous system interference may be a primary reason your child is reflecting poor health. Nervous system interference can be caused from a variety of different physical, chemical and emotional stressors. Often these stressors go unnoticed and accumulate as your child is developing.

While the effects of these nervous system interferences are classified by a variety of names, chiropractic is not a treatment for them! Our goal is to locate and reduce the nervous system interference so your child’s body has the ability to adapt the stressful stimuli leaving them with a higher capacity to health and thrive in development.

Common health complaints associated with poor health in children include:

Infertility. Restoration of the nervous system may lead to improved function of the reproductive organs. After beginning chiropractic care, many patients have been blessed with the child the never thought they would have.

Traumatic Birth. This is a very big deal! Nearly 1/3 (32% currently) of all births in the United States are C-section deliveries. Reasons for this vary from case to case, but experts believe this is far too high. It is most important to have your newborn checked shortly after birth to detect the effects of in-utero constraint, C-section, vacuum extraction, forceps or other aspects of a stressful birth.

Colic. Have you ever met a mom or dad whos child has colic? Bags under their eyes, irritable, anxious, frustrated…the list goes on and on. Experiencing the inability to communicate with their body, your baby cries and cries. And cries. They know no other way to tell mom and dad, “something is wrong”. Even “natural” births can cause nervous system interference, leading to miscommunication and poor development.

Ear infections. Restriction within the upper cervical spine leads to interference within the brain-body connection. In turn, the anatomical structures that help drain fluid within the ear become constricted and create a breeding ground for bacteria.

Bedwetting. Improper communication from the lower back and sacral regions of the nervous may limit the normal response of bladder control. Chiropractic care has given many children the ability to regain their confidence when going to sleep at night.

ADHD. Parents are looking for conservative approaches for the child’s ADHD symptoms before turning to medications (Type II Psychotropic drugs). Excellent results have been the outcome of reducing tension within the nervous system.

Asthma. Often it is seen that attacks are reduced or eliminated through chiropractic care. This may be due to the reduction of neurological interference to the bronchial tubes, lungs and diaphragm.

Growing Pains. These are pains that are considered to be the “phase” your child is going through. Plan and simple, pain is noxious stimuli to the brain which increases the overall stress load on your child’s nervous system.

Scoliosis. Most commonly, it’s recommended to take the “watch and wait” protocol for this. Instead of bracing, chiropractic care has helped countless children with this common phenomenon.

Wellness. No symptoms required! The ability to be at ease knowing your child is growing and developing as best as they possibly can be is priceless. It’s much easier to grow healthy children instead of correcting problems later on into their adolescent and adult lives. Getting your child checked for structural or neurological problems is quick and easy. If you have questions about how your child will benefit from chiropractic care, we’d be happy to schedule a consultation with you, free of cost and commitment.

WellnessAs we continue to see a climb in C-section rates, chronic infant health issues and mortality rates, Drs. Joe and Brittany feel it is incredibly important to have all children checked for subluxation after birth. Subluxation is caused by a misalignment and fixation within the spine that puts added stress on the rapidly developing body. The birth process is a very common cause of subluxation, especially those that resulted in many interventions. Drs. Joe and Brittany are trained to detect and remove these subluxations, and doing so will help reduce irritation to the nervous system and ensure that ill health does not follow your child.

As your child grows up, their spine and nervous system will encounter many stressors that cause subluxation; including physical stress, chemical stress and emotional stress. Physical traumas commonly come in the form of frequent falls. Toxic stressors range from inadequate diet to household cleaners. Emotional stressors in early childhood are typically a result of hardwiring stress from in-utero constraint and traumatic birth. Good news is, these subluxations are easy to detect and be removed by a chiropractor.

Do you think your child may be exhibiting signs of subluxation? We are here for you and your child. Please contact our office to find out what we will do to help. Remember, it’s easier to raise healthy children than it is to fix broken adults. Early detection and removal of subluxation is paramount!


Bedwetting can be extremely hard on kiddos. Embarrassment. No sleepovers. Plastic mattress covers. Anger. Even diapers.

Up to the age of four or five, many children have poor bladder control at night. But after that, the inability to stay dry at night may be a sign of an underlying problem. While chiropractic is not a treatment for bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), countless children have been helped with safe and natural chiropractic care.

Bladder science

Two key muscles control the emptying of the bladder. Their technical names are the detrusor and trigone muscles. Nerves that exit the spinal column in the lower back and sacrum control these muscles.

During the early years of life, the sacrum has five separate segments. Later, they fuse together to form the triangular-shaped bone that adults have at the base of the spine. If these segments become misaligned (from a variety of things - falling, learning to walk, ride a bike, etc.) they may interfere with nerves that are responsible for bladder function.

Commonly during our examinations we look for these misalignments of the sacrum. If present, reduction of sacral misalignment by safe and natural chiropractic adjustments typically leads to proper nervous system control and regulation of bladder control.

Published reports

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics document many studies showing the positive benefits of chiropractic care.

  • A study of 46 children received chiropractic care for a 10-week period. A quarter of those receiving chiropractic care had 50% or more reduction in the wet night frequency, while none among the control group saw a reduction. (JMPT 1994 (Nov-Dec);17 (9): 596-600)
  • Children with a history of persistent bed-wetting received eight chiropractic adjustments. Number of wet nights fell from seven per week to four. (JMPT 1991 (Feb);14 (2): 110-115)
  • The lumbar spine of an eight-year-old male bed wetter was adjusted once and at a one-month follow-up. There was a complete resolution of enuresis. "This happened in a manner that could not be attributed to time or placebo effect." (JMPT 1994 (Jun);17 (5): 335-338)

Will chiropractic care help?

Since chiropractic care isn’t a treatment for bedwetting, a thorough examination is necessary. If the bedwetting is caused by nerve interference from subluxation, many children will see great results with chiropractic care. We understand bedwetting can be a very sensitive case. We are here for your kids with love and compassion. If you have specific questions – call our office today! 540-765-2990


Brittany and babyHaving a child with colic can be one of the hardest things any parent goes through in life. It’s difficult enough to hear your child cry for 2 seconds, let alone for hours on end with no way to comfort them.

Good news is, the healing effect of chiropractic adjustments for colicky babies is astounding! Commonly, we see colic as an effect of an upper neck injury – frequently from birth trauma. Action is key – the quicker baby gets adjusted, the quicker they can calm down, sleep and heal. Not only will they finally get to sleep and calm, but so will mom and dad.

What is it?

The most widely accepted definition of colic today is “unexplainable and uncontrollable crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, usually in the afternoon and evening hours.”

Birth trauma?

Babies who are experiencing colic are often inconsolable. Though colic was originally thought to simply be indigestion, let’s consider another explanation. It’s very frequent during our examination we find distortions in the baby’s upper cervical spine. This is especially true in babies who have gone through a difficult birth. It’s no question these babies may be having head and neck pain.

Drugs vs spinal manipulation

In an October 1999 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, a study tracked a small group of 50 infants. Half received the drug dimethicone and the other spinal manipulation. The conclusion of the two-week study resulted in the babies being adjusted saw a 67% reduction in crying and the drug therapy group saw a 38% reduction.

Not a treatment

Chiropractic isn’t a treatment for colic! Assessing the nervous system for vertebral subluxation is paramount, no matter what the age. If vertebral subluxation is present and interfering with the body’s natural healing ability, growth and development – correcting the subluxation is key to restoring health.

Ear Infections

Check out Dr. Joe's video on why ear infections happen and how we're able to help!

Common not normal!!

Have you ever brought you child into a pediatrician’s office because you thought they were getting an ear infection? With moreBaby crawling than 85% of children developing their first ear infection before the age of 2, ear infections are very common and are the #1 reason parents bring their children to the pediatrician. However, just because ear infections are common does NOT make them normal!! Similar to any other symptom, ear infections are a sign that the body is not working properly.

What causes an ear infection?

Ear infections occur when fluid builds up in the ear due to improper drainage. When the fluid remains in the middle ear long enough, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances which eventually leads to an infection. The bigger question we should be asking is, why is the fluid building up in the ear? Why isn’t the fluid draining properly? This leads us to a muscle called the Tensor Veli Palatini (TVP). The TVP attaches in two places – the back of your soft palate (roof of your mouth) and around the eustachian tube. The eustachian tube is responsible for proper drainage of your ear. If the TVP spasms and becomes constricted, it will pull on the eustachian tube and lead to improper drainage and fluid buildup in the middle ear.

What causes the tensor veli palatini (TVP) to spasm?

The nerve supply from the TVP comes from an area around the top vertebra in the neck (atlas or C1). In our office, we often find the Atlas is misaligned from birth – especially after a stressful birth, use of forceps, vacuum extraction or c-section delivery. In turn, stress is placed on the upper cervical spine which leads to subluxation and nervous system distress. The nerves that innervate the tensor veli palatini, then cause the muscle to spasm and prevent fluid from properly draining out of the ear.

Traditional medical options to treat ear infections

The new model of “Wait and Watch” is recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics as most ear infections will resolve on their own. However, many pediatricians choose to prescribe multiple doses of antibiotics to treat the infection. Unfortunately, most ear infections are viral in nature and will not be affected by an antibiotic. Use of antibiotics has also been linked to lowering your child’s immune system – leaving them susceptible to developing future ear infections.

After multiple rounds of antibiotics from recurrent ear infections, many pediatricians will recommend a visit to the ENT doctor for ear tube surgery (myringotomy). This procedure is completed by drilling a hole through the ear drum (tympanic membrane) which allows for the fluid to drain out of the ear. The problem with this line of thinking is that we still have the CAUSE of the problem. Many parents whose children have gone through a myringotomy notice fluid build up continues and the tubes repeatedly fall out and need to be replaced. This is due to the excess fluid build up from improper draining down the eustachian tube.

The problem is that traditional medical options are not addressing the root cause of WHY these ear infections are happening. Subluxation and nervous system interference continues to remain in the upper cervical spine – reducing the TVPs ability to relax so the eustachian tube can open for fluid to drain properly.

Chiropractic and ear infections

Our technology specifically checks for subluxations in the upper cervical spine of your child. If subluxation and nervous system interference is present, our adjustments are specifically designed to reduce this interference and allow the body to heal properly so you can say goodbye to ear infections for good!

Pediatric chiropractic care is a safe, gentle, and natural solution to help resolve ear infections without the use of drugs or surgery. If your child suffers from ear infections, please contact our office today! We are here to help 540-765-2990

Cotton Chiropractic Homepage

117 Sheraton Drive, Salem, Virginia 24153      540.765.2990

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