Topical Analgesics (Muscles and Arthritis): FSA Eligibility

Topical Analgesics (Muscles and Arthritis): eligible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Topical analgesics are eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Topical analgesics are not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA).

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What are topical analgesics?

Topical analgesics are pain relievers (another term for analgesic) that are applied on the skin, or topically. Topical analgesics are usually used to relieve muscle pain, or to relieve joint pain. Topical analgesics are applied via spray, lotion, ointment, or rub. They may work via heat (capsaicin), salicylate (like aspirin), or counterirritation (menthol) which can serve as a distraction from the pain of an injury or condition (WebMD).

What are muscle pain relievers?

Muscle pain relievers are medical products that treat muscle pain. The most common muscle pain relievers are liniments and hot/cold therapy.

Liniments are topical skin applications which are usually a little less viscous than lotions. They are also called balms or heat rubs, and are useful on muscle pain, soreness, and arthritis. Liniments produce a feeling of warmth in a particular spot. Liniments are sold as popular brands such as Tiger Balm. (ScienceDirect). Trolamine salicylate is another topical skin application that is absorbed through the skin and reduces the acidity of salicylic acid, which delays and reduces the intensity of muscle soreness onset. 

Hot and cold packs are another method for relieving muscle pain. Hot and cold packs are reusable packs that can be held against a muscle or joint to deal with swelling, pain, or soreness. The pack can either be heated in the microwave at home or chilled in the fridge or freezer.

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