Active Health Clinics specialize in treating migraines and improving our patients quality of life. Our team of highly-trained healthcare professionals understands that migraines can be a complex and multifaceted condition, requiring a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment. At AHC, we offer cutting-edge diagnostic tools and advanced treatment options to get to the root of our patients' headaches and migraines and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.

Whether you're experiencing frequent migraines or seeking relief from mild headaches, Active Health Clinics is dedicated to helping our community with all types of pain at our office in Fort Dodge, Iowa and the Webster County Area. Contact the AHC Physical Medicine office today to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards living your best life.


A headache is a pain that arises in any part of the head. They can occur on both sides of your head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a vise-like quality. A headache can be a sharp pain, dull ache, or throbbing sensation. They can develop gradually or suddenly, and they may last from less than an hour to several days.


  • Tension-Type Headaches: Often described as a constant band-like pain around the head, not throbbing. Typically, these are mild to moderate in intensity and can last from 30 minutes to several days. Stress is a common trigger.
    • Triggers: Stress, lack of sleep, missed meals, poor posture, eyestrain, and alcohol consumption.
  • Migraine:Characterized by moderate to severe throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last from a few hours to several days.
    • Triggers: Hormonal changes (like menstrual periods), certain foods and additives (chocolate, cheese, monosodium glutamate, processed foods), caffeine withdrawal, changes in sleep pattern, sensory stimuli (bright lights, loud sounds), stress, and physical factors (like physical exertion).
  • Cluster Headaches: Extremely painful headaches that occur in a series or "clusters". They're typically felt on one side of the head, often around the eye. These can last from 15 minutes to three hours and can occur several times a day during a cluster period.
    • Triggers: Alcohol, strong smells (like paint or gasoline), high altitudes, bright light (including sunlight), exertion, heat (hot weather or hot baths), tobacco.
  • Sinus Headaches: Caused by sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). Symptoms include deep, constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose, often accompanied by other sinus symptoms like nasal discharge and facial swelling.
    • Triggers: Sinusitis or sinus infection, sudden temperature changes, high humidity.
  • Rebound Headaches (Medication Overuse Headache): Caused by the overuse of pain medications, these headaches occur when the medication wears off, leading the person to take more, creating a cycle of overuse and pain.
    • Triggers: Overuse of pain medications, especially over-the-counter pain relief drugs.
  • Thunderclap Headaches: These are severe, sudden-onset headaches that can reach their peak within 60 seconds. They can be a sign of serious conditions like subarachnoid hemorrhage and require immediate medical attention.
    • Triggers: Often not triggered by typical headache causes, but can be a symptom of life-threatening conditions like subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or a brain aneurysm.
  • Hormone Headaches: More common in women, these are linked to changes in hormone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. They can resemble migraines or tension-type headaches.
    • Triggers: Fluctuations in estrogen levels, menstruation, use of birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • Exertion Headaches: These are brought on by physical activity, from running and jumping to sexual activity. They're usually short-lived but can be intense.
    • Triggers: Intense physical activity, lifting heavy weights, or sudden head movements.
  • Hypertension Headaches: Related to high blood pressure, these headaches typically feature a pulsating pain on both sides of the head and are accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness or changes in vision.
    • Triggers: Extremely high blood pressure.
  • Caffeine Headaches: Caused by withdrawal from caffeine, these headaches are often dull and can occur behind the eyes.
    • Triggers: Caffeine withdrawal or abruptly stopping caffeine intake after regular use.

Understanding the unique symptoms, triggers, and treatments associated with each type of headache is crucial for anyone suffering from them. It's essential to identify and comprehend personal triggers, as avoiding or reducing exposure can significantly help in preventing the onset of headaches or reducing their severity. Frequent or intense headaches should not be overlooked. If you or someone you know experiences such symptoms, seeking medical advice is paramount. At Active Health Clinics, we specialize in diagnosing and providing appropriate care for headaches, ensuring that you not only get the relief you deserve but also working together to distinguish what is causing these headaches.


  • Misalignment of the Spine: Misalignments, known as vertebral subluxations, can irritate nerves and lead to headaches.
  • Food Allergies: Some individuals can get headaches from foods they're allergic to or intolerant of.
  • Stress: Emotional and physical stress can lead to tension headaches from tense muscles in the neck and scalp.
  • Caffeine: Headaches can result from both caffeine withdrawal and excessive caffeine intake.
  • Dehydration: A lack of adequate fluid intake can cause the brain to temporarily contract, leading to a dehydration headache.
  • Environmental Factors: Changes in weather or exposure to certain chemicals or strong odors can be triggers.
  • Hormonal Changes: Especially in women, fluctuations in hormones can result in migraines or other types of headaches.
  • Sleep Patterns: Inconsistencies or changes in sleep can be a headache trigger.


Traditional Headache Treatment and Their DRAWBACKS

Many individuals instinctively turn to over-the-counter or prescribed painkillers to combat their headaches. While these medications might offer a fleeting sense of relief, they can come with a high price tag of long-term consequences. Regular and prolonged use of these drugs can lead to Rebound Headaches or Medication Overuse Headaches, where the relief is transient, and as the medication's effect diminishes, the headache resurfaces, often with increased intensity. This cycle can inadvertently trap individuals in a relentless loop of pain and medication. Additionally, over-reliance on these medicines can wreak havoc on gut health, disturbing the delicate balance of our digestive system and leading to a plethora of issues ranging from minor discomforts like bloating to severe conditions like ulcers. More alarmingly, merely masking the symptoms with pills bypasses the crucial step of addressing the root cause of the headaches. This superficial approach might not only leave the primary issue untreated but could also exacerbate it over time. At Active Health Clinics, we urge you to look beyond the immediate relief and consider the longer-term implications on your overall health and well-being. There's a better way to find lasting relief, and it starts by understanding and addressing the true origins of your pain.

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A comprehensive discussion about your headache history, triggers, and patterns.

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Personalized Action Plan

Customized strategies created from a team of providers to prevent and manage your headaches.

Precise Chiropractic Adjustments

Targeted adjustments to relieve tension and improve spinal function reducing the frequency and severity of headaches. By correcting misalignments, improving posture, and promoting relaxation of tight muscles, chiropractic care offers a drug-free approach to headache relief and prevention.

Trigger Point Injections

Therapy involving injecting natural solutions into specific points to relieve pain. Trigger points can cause referred pain, where pain is felt in a different area than the source of the pain. For instance, trigger points in the neck can cause headaches. By treating the trigger point, referred symptoms like headaches can be alleviated. The benefit of an injection is that the treatment is delivered directly to the affected area, providing faster and more targeted relief than oral medications.

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Laser Therapy

A non-invasive low-level laser procedure that uses light to stimulate cellular activity penetrating deep into the skin to promote healing at the cellular level. This process triggers a series of biological responses that reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and accelerate tissue repair if needed.

Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to promote tissue healing and reduce inflammation. For headache sufferers, especially those with cervicogenic (originating in the neck) headaches, this can mean relief from pain. The sound waves penetrate deep into tissues, promoting circulation and reducing muscle stiffness or spasms that may be contributing to headaches.

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Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage can be instrumental in relieving headaches. By targeting tight muscles and tension in the neck, shoulders, and head, massage promotes relaxation and increased blood flow. This not only helps alleviate current headache pain but can also play a role in preventing future occurrences.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Identifying and eliminating food sensitivities can play a crucial role in alleviating headaches. Many people unknowingly consume foods that trigger inflammation and headaches. Food Sensitivity Testing can pinpoint specific foods and ingredients that may be causing discomfort. By avoiding these triggers, individuals can often reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches. At Active Health Clinics, we offer comprehensive testing to help you understand and manage dietary factors contributing to your pain.

Self-Help Strategies:

  • Hydration: Maintain consistent and adequate water intake. Dehydration can be a headache trigger, so drinking water can help prevent them.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Identify and avoid food triggers. A food diary can assist in pinpointing potential culprits.
  • Stress Management: Utilize relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
  • Establish a Sleep Routine: Consistent sleep patterns can help in preventing headaches. Aim for 7-9 hours nightly.
  • Limit Caffeine: Monitor and limit excessive caffeine consumption, and avoid sudden caffeine withdrawals.
  • Ergonomic Workspace: Ensure your workspace is ergonomically set up to minimize neck and back strain.


At Active Health Clinics, our team of specialists provide tailored treatments plans that address the root causes of your headaches and work with you to provide lasting relief for a healthier, pain-free future without the use of drugs or surgery.
Live your best life your whole life with the help from AHC!