October is National Physical Therapy Month, a yearly health initiative sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) that raises awareness among consumers about the risks of opioids and the benefits of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative for long-term pain management.
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 100 million Americans contend with some form of chronic pain, but thankfully, developments in drug-free pain relief have evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years to deliver targeted therapy in the comfort of your own home. Best of all, many of these products can be covered by flexible spending account (FSA) funds! Here are a few options that could be a solution for acute and chronic pain issues.
- TENS Machine
One of the most popular at-home pain relief therapies is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, also known as a TENS machine, which gives users the ability to apply electrotherapy to sore muscles and joints to alleviate acute and chronic pain. While some studies have shown that electricity can block the transmission of pain signals through the nerves, others have shown that electrotherapy can promote the release of endorphins, a form of natural pain reliever that can reduce instances of pain in a variety of situations, according to Medscape.
- Multi-Pulse TENS Machine
For those who need targeted pain relief therapy for multiple trouble spots, TENS machines are available with multiple electrodes to affect different areas of the body with varying levels of pulse energy. This is a great option for those who have multiple joint or muscle ailments, or for a more comprehensive therapy session on a particular area.
- Quell Wearable Pain Relief
For some individuals, daily pain management can't wait until they come home and apply therapy to their trouble spots. For those who need an all-day solution to combat pain, the Quell Wearable Pain Relief device is the perfect drug-free solution! This device is worn on the upper calf and fits comfortably all day long to stimulate sensory nerves. It is ideal for people with nerve pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, arthritic pain and other forms of chronic pain. Quell even features Bluetooth compatibility and a smartphone app to make it easy to monitor pain therapy, sleep quality, and customize device operation.
- Acupressure Mats
If you or a loved one suffers from neck or back pain, acupressure mats are a fantastic drug-free pain relief method that is perfect for at-home therapy. Acupressure targets specific pressure points in the neck and back to alleviate pain related to fibromyalgia, sciatica, nerve pain, back/neck/shoulder pain, headaches and migraines.
- Hot/Cold Packs
Last but not least, your FSA covers an impressive range of cold and heat therapy products, which are perfect for major and minor injuries that pop up over the course of the year. The Mayo Clinic reports that cold therapy is ideal for pain relief and inflammation from joint sprains and muscle pulls, while heat therapy is effective in opening blood vessels to increase circulation and aid the healing process.
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have over 4,000 FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits.
The dog days of summer and the last hot days of August are when many high school fall sports teams kick off training and get ready for the coming season. Soon enough, your kids will be juggling practices, schoolwork and game days, so making their health a priority from the get-go is the best recipe for success this fall!
Your flexible spending account (FSA) covers many pain relief and sports rehab products, so if you're an FSA user, you can give your student athlete a major boost this autumn with these smart buys.
- Cold Packs
Cold therapy is one of the most reliable means of treating workout stiffness and acute pain injuries, so as your child's sports season kicks off, make sure you have a few of these FSA-eligible items ready-to-go in your freezer! According to UPMC Sports Medicine, ice therapy is one of the most trusted means of decreasing pain and swelling after injuries, while hot packs are best used to improve blood flow to combat soreness.
- Athletic Braces
Injuries happen when you least expect them, and the worst part about any recovery is the risk of re-injuring the affected area. Joint braces are a fantastic FSA-eligible option that can immobilize the injured body part to prevent further injuries, as well as providing stability to shorten the healing process overall.
Check Out: Braces and Elastic Supports
- Kinesiology Tape
For those stubborn sore muscles and joints that always seem to flare up at the worst moments, kinesiology tape may be the perfect solution to improve your child's mobility and resistance against injury. According to Competitor.com, kinesiology tape works by applying light and lifting pressure against the skin to create a gap between the muscle and dermal layers of sore or swollen muscles. If applied properly, this tape can allow for smoother muscle movement and increased blood flow.
- TENS Machine
Have you ever heard of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)? These devices use electrodes that are placed on injured areas of the body and use light electricity to interfere with pain signals sent from the brain, reports the Mayo Clinic. These devices are typically used for chronic pain issues, but they have also been embraced by athletes looking for a more direct form of pain relief.
- Mineral Sunscreen
Last but not least, the sun's rays are still a factor during the fall months, so make sure your child has sun protection to protect against excessive UVA/UVB rays. Dermatological sunscreen is a great investment that can provide broad spectrum protection and will stand up to excessive sweating during physical activity.
Want to maximize the potential of your FSA? Visit FSAstore.com first! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products with more than 4,000 qualifying items in stock!
One of the most important regulations to emerge from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the expansion of dependent care benefits for children of account holders, who can now stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26 years old. Parents of young scholars who are heading off to college, may be surprised to find out that their flexible spending accounts (FSAs) fall under these regulations as well. So before you head to the pharmacy or big box store, shop with your FSA first! Your benefit covers a huge range of qualifying health products to keep your son or daughter healthy throughout the semester. Need some inspiration? Here are a few smart FSA-eligible products to keep in mind.
The early fall is still very warm and chances are your college student will spend many long afternoons on the quad soaking up the sunshine. All those UV rays aren't good for your son or daughter's skin, so use your FSA to pick up broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect them wherever they're headed year-round.
- Pain Relievers
Do you know how bad a headache can be after an all-nighter? The stress that comes with higher education can lead to its fair share of headaches, so make sure your young scholar is prepared. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers require a prescription for FSA reimbursement, but our Prescription Process makes this easy!
- Cold Packs
We've all done dumb things in college, it's par for the course. So whether it's an unexpected injury, or a simple mishap on a walk to class, having a cold pack handy is a smart thing for any college student. These compact cold packs can fit into any mini fridge and can ease pain and inflammation from acute pain injuries.
- Vision Care
If your son or daughter needs contact lenses, eyeglasses (prescription or reading glasses), or contact lens accessories such as solution, carrying cases or replacement lenses, you can buy them all pre-tax with your FSA! Visit our Optical Store to purchase contact lenses or prescription glasses, and explore our selection of eye care products to ensure your child can see clearly all semester.
Check Out: Eye Care Products and Accessories
Better to be safe than sorry, right? College is a time when many young adults become sexually active, so to ensure that your kids are safe from STDs and other complications, make sure they have the means to protect themselves. We have a great selection of products to choose from - the awkward conversation is up to you!
Check Out: FSA-eligible Condoms
For everything you need to keep your family healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
Summer’s here, and that means warm weather, long days, and plenty of opportunities to hit the road on a bike. While there’s something to be said for getting out and forgetting the worries of everyday life, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you spent more time preparing for your mid-ride lunch stop than ensuring your safety while out on the road!
Luckily, saving money on some simple purchases to improve your cycling experience is easier than ever. And you can pay for them through an unexpected source - your flexible spending account (FSA) funds! Here are a few great FSA-eligible items that could make your ride safer and more comfortable.
If you don't plan ahead for your ride with the right sun protection, you may end up with an epic burn instead. Last year's sunscreen may have a limited shelf life, so make sure that you're prepared for the new season with the most effective sun care regimen. Sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against ultraviolet rays and SPF 15 or above is eligible for FSA reimbursement, so make sure you and your loved ones avoid sunburn wherever you're headed.
- Lip Balm
With the constant flow of wind in your face while biking, which may result in chapped lips for days afterward. While not all lip balm is FSA-eligible, those that are, follow the same eligibility requirements as sunscreen. As long as lip balm is SPF 15+ and offers broad spectrum protection, it is FSA-eligible!
- Allergy Medicine
Being in the great outdoors comes with its own set of challenges, not the least of which are high pollen counts that could trigger your allergic symptoms. Allergy medication can help you breathe a little easier when you’re out on the road, and over-the-counter medicines are eligible for FSA reimbursement with a prescription from a doctor.
- Hot/Cold Packs
Whether you're an avid cyclist or a total newbie, a long ride can leave your muscles sore for days after physical activity, but your FSA can help tackle that as well! Hot and cold packs are eligible over-the-counter products that can administer targeted heat and cold therapy to soothe sore muscles, curb swelling and reduce pain so you can get back on the road faster.
- Crash Pack
Last but not least, we never want to think about it when we're out on the road or on the trail, but falling off your bike in an emergency can lead to a serious injury that could be worsened without the right preparation. Every cyclist should keep a crash pack handy, and your FSA can help cover an extensive selection of bandages, braces, first aid kits and—worst-case scenario—crutches.
No matter where you're headed this summer, make FSAstore.com a part of your plans! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to keep you and your loved ones healthy year-round.
If you feel that familiar itch after you've spent a long summer's evening outdoors, chances are you have an annoying mosquito bite to deal with for days on end. Aside from the obvious discomfort, these bites carry real risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, bites from infected mosquitoes all over the U.S. can carry the risk of transmitting West Nile virus, encephalitis and more.
While you won't be able to prevent every mosquito bite, your flexible spending account (FSA) can help you prepare for the worst and bounce back quickly when bites do happen. Here are a few items to keep in mind when you're spending time outdoors this summer.
- Sunscreen with Insect Repellent
While bug spray is not FSA-eligible in accordance with IRS regulations, sunscreen is. So, those products formulated with insect repellent are a great way to provide a barrier between the sun's harmful rays and summertime bugs. Bull Frog contains broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays that cause sunburn and a DEET-free insect repellent to keep mosquitoes at bay all summer long.
Check Out:BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel SPF 50
- Mosquito Bite Pain Reliever
Did you know that heat therapy can be used to treat mosquito bites? It's true! Handheld devices that deliver targeted heat therapy to mosquito and insect bites can assist in combating the pain and itchiness associated with the after effects of these bites.
Check Out: Therapik Mosquito Bite Pain Relief Device
- Itch Relief Sticks
Topical analgesics are tried-and-true methods of treating the symptoms of mosquito bites by combating the body's inflammatory response with antihistamines. These medications are applied to the affected area soon after the bite mark starts to form and they can ease the itching and burning sensations that result from it.
Check Out: Benadryl Itch Relief Stick 14 ml
- Cold Packs
Cold therapy is one of the most effective, drug-free methods of easing inflammation after an insect bite. Cold packs are great FSA-eligible products that can help you ease swelling and inflammation after an injury, and they are especially helpful in reducing the discomfort that comes with mosquito bites.
Check Out: ACE Reusable Cold Compress 4.5" X 10", 1 ea
Individuals with insect bite sensitivities that result in excessive swelling and redness may benefit more from an antihistamine in pill form instead. According to the University of Washington School of Health Sciences, experts suggest that those who have adverse reactions to insect bites should take the recommended dosage of an antihistamine before venturing outdoors. This can help prevent an extreme reaction and patients can control their symptoms by taking the medication in the days following exposure.
Check Out: Claritin 24 Hour Allergy, Tablets, 30 ea
For everything you and your loved ones need to stay healthy year-round, you can rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
As you and your family members enjoy the great outdoors this summer, there's always a chance that one wrong step can result in an injury that could put you out of commission for days or weeks. Whether it's a sprained ankle or a ligament sprain in a major joint, one of the best methods of recovery from these injuries is the RICE rehabilitation method. Best of all, this works best in tandem with FSA-eligible products like cold packs, heat wraps and more!
Let's dive in and explore how the RICE rehab method can help you bounce back quickly from injuries.
Rest is vital for recovery from any injury, because re-aggravating the injury could prolong your rehabilitation period, reports VeryWell.com. If a particular activity causes you additional pain and discomfort, stop or take a break from it to prevent any further damage.
Ice is a key facet of any recovery from a sprain or tendon injury, and it falls into a category of treatments called cold therapy or cryotherapy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, applying ice or cold packs to affected areas will reduce inflammation and swelling. Slowing nerve activity reduces pain and lowers skin temperature to promote the healing process.
In addition to rest and recovery, compression therapy plays an important role in the healing process to fight inflammation after experiencing an injury, reports WebMD. Your FSA covers elastic bandages and other wraps that could work perfectly for this purpose! These bandages can immobilize the affected area to prevent further strain. But don't wrap them too tight as this could cut off circulation, which would make your limb go numb, or increase pain and swelling.
Last but not least, elevation can play a surprisingly vital role in helping to speed the recovery process. WebMD (who at WebMD?) suggests using pillows to elevate the affected area whenever you are sitting or lying down. This is a particularly good idea when applying cold therapy. Additionally, keeping the injured body part raised above your heart can also help reduce swelling.
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, visit FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your pre-tax funds.
What day can possibly compare with the Fourth of July? It's an entire holiday that centers around enjoying the great outdoors, fireworks, grilling and spending time with those you care about. But as you prep your menu, send out invites and check the weather forecast, the safety of you and your family should also be at the top of your to-do list!
Your flexible spending account (FSA) covers a surprising range of products that will fit right into your Fourth of July planning and can create a safer environment to celebrate in. Here are a few FSA-eligible must-haves for your gathering!
- First Aid Kit
Are you prepared for anything in the event of a medical emergency? Every home should have a fully-stocked first aid kit to administer care in the event of an injury, and with a large group of people to look after, this becomes even more of a necessity. First aid kits are stocked with bandages, wound dressings and more to help you stabilize an emergency situation until medical care arrives.
- Sunscreen with Insect Repellent
Sunscreen is an FSA-eligible expense, but according to current IRS regulations, bug spray is not. Luckily, we here at FSAstore.com stock Bull Frog sunscreen, a qualified product that contains broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays that cause sunburn and a DEET-free insect repellent to keep mosquitoes at bay all weekend.
Check Out: Bull Frog Sunscreen, Lip Balms and Sprays
- Topical Anesthetics
A bee sting or insect bite can put a major damper on your holiday. Topical anesthetics are a great option to have around during your summer gatherings that can quickly ease the pain and itching that arises from bites and stings.
- Sunburn Pain Relief
Try as you might to prevent them, sunburns can happen to the most dedicated sun protection experts, and the itching and burning that will follow can be a nuisance for days. Whenever your sun care regimen slips, make sure you have a topical post-sunburn treatment you can apply to keep the discomfort at bay.
Check Out: Solarcaine Aloe Extra Burn Relief Gel, 8 oz
- Cold Packs
Last but not least, if you or family member suffers an injury over the course of your Fourth of July festivities, cold packs are always helpful to have around. Applying cold therapy to a sprain, insect bite or bruise can help relieve pain and combat swelling to speed the healing process.
Check Out: ACE Hot and Cold Compress, Reusable, 1 ea
For everything you need to keep your family healthy this summer, you can rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the tax savings potential of your employee benefits!
It's one of the hallmarks of summer, but not exactly a welcome one! Whether you forget to apply sunscreen or linger in the sun for too long, the pain and discomfort of a sunburn will let you know that your sun care regimen needs to change for the better.
But now that you have a sunburn, it's time to treat it! Sunburn will clear up on its own after time, but in severe cases, additional treatments may be necessary to combat pain, itching and discomfort. Alleviating sunburn is even easier if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) to cover these treatment options! Here are a few ways to get started.
- Utilize cold compresses
Cold packs and other forms of cold therapy are FSA-eligible, and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these products to treat sunburns soon after you have come out of the sun. Cold packs can combat the itching and burning that is associated with sunburns, as well as reduce any skin inflammation present. While your skin is still damp, continue therapy with gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse).
- Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Inflammation is what makes a bad sunburn even worse, but you may be able to find relief in your own medicine cabinet. WebMD reports that non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like over-the-counter pain relievers including ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, can treat the pain of sunburns with the added benefit of controlling the body's immune response to become inflamed. Remember, OTC medicines require a prescription from a doctor for FSA reimbursement, so use our Prescription Process!
- Cortisone Cream
Another reliable means of treating sunburn with your FSA is hydrocortisone cream, a topical steroid that is ideal to treat skin conditions that result in inflammation, redness and swelling. This is the best option in the case of extreme sunburns, but the Mayo Clinic recommends sticking with the 1 percent hydrocortisone cream that is easy on the skin and will soothe scorched areas in moments of extreme itchiness and discomfort.
Depending on the severity of your sunburn, there's a good chance that your skin will crack and peel no matter what you do, but dermatologists recommend moisturizing burned areas with skin fortifying lotion in the days following your sunburn. Medicated moisturizers that are fortified with aloe vera and other skin enhancing ingredients are best for this purpose, and they're FSA-eligible with a prescription! Apply twice a day after your sunburn to keep these damaged areas from drying out and blistering.
Ensure that you and your family have a happy, healthy summer by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
Summer is fast approaching, and if you are an outdoor enthusiast, this is the time of year when you are itching to get out into the backcountry and away from the cares of modern life. As any good camper knows, you should always be prepared for the worst when you are miles away from the nearest hospital, and if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA), you can save on must-have camping necessities!
FSAs already cover rugged, camping-ready first aid kits like the ones from Adventure Medical Kits, but there are a number of FSA-eligible items that you may not have thought of that could come in handy during your next camping trip.
Here are some smart purchases to keep in mind before you hit the trail!
- Instant Cold Packs
This is a great addition to your camping first aid kit and can help you treat a sprained ankle or other trail injury with ease. These disposable, instant cold packs have a long shelf life and are ready to use after squeezing and shaking them, and applying them to the affected area. Cold packs combat inflammation and relieve pain to speed the recovery process.
- Joint Supports
Whether you have a history of knee problems, an ankle that is prone to sprains or another form of chronic pain in your joints, it's best to be prepared for the worst before you trek out into the backcountry. Joint supports and braces can stabilize these trouble areas to reduce pain and make for a more enjoyable experience out on the trail!
Check Out: Braces and Elastic Supports
- Mineral Sunscreen
Standard sunscreen may not be able to stand up to the flurry of activity that camping offers. Whether you go swimming or work up a sweat on a hike, sunscreens can lose their efficacy over time which is why you need a unique solution to stand up to the rigors of camping. Mineral sunscreen is a much better option for camping as it does not degrade after being exposed to UV rays, offers resistance against water and sweat and offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, which cause sunburn.
- Elastic Bandages
In the case of a sudden injury like a broken bone or a bad sprain, immobilizing the injury to prevent further damage is paramount to promoting the healing process. This can be especially difficult in an outdoor environment, which is why an elastic bandage should be in every camper's pack. These compact bandages can be wrapped around joints to keep them stable, and they can even be fashioned into a sling for upper body injuries.
Check Out: ACE 3" Self-Adhering Elastic Bandage
- Blister Cushions
Whether you're trekking on hiking paths or doing work around the campsite, blisters can form quickly after forceful friction on your hands and feet. Blisters are an obvious nuisance, and they can put a damper on your camping excursion in a hurry. Blister pads are a great addition to your first aid kit that can provide additional padding to help them heal, as well as sealing out water, dirt and germs that could cause infection.
For everything you and your loved ones need to stay healthy this summer and beyond, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!
Do you live in a part of the U.S. that will see significant snow accumulation in the coming months? Chances are, you'll be outside with a snow shovel clearing away snow and slush, and no matter what age you are, this is a strenuous activity that could lead to significant injuries if you don't make the proper preparations.
As an flexible spending account (FSA) user, you have a unique advantage this winter in that your benefit can cover a huge range of qualifying products that can safeguard you and your loved ones from potential snow shoveling injuries. As the 2017 FSA plan year kicks off, here are a few products you can purchase with your FSA card to prevent major injuries this winter.
- Back Braces
Shoveling snow, especially wet snow, can be especially trying on your lower back and can put you at serious risk for orthopedic injuries. Overworking specific areas that aren't used to regular heavy activity can lead to muscle, ligament, tendon and other soft tissue injuries, which is why a back brace is a smart purchase for this season. Back braces can immobilize the lower back to prevent strain injuries, as well as limit the pressure on the spine by maintaining proper posture.
- Cushioned Insoles
Slips and falls during snow shoveling can happen to anyone, and if your shoes fit poorly or do not provide proper support, this can result in painful accidents if you're not careful. Luckily, cushioned insoles are FSA eligible to provide additional comfort underfoot, enhance the fit of your shoes and lessen the impact of heavy activity during snow shoveling.
Check Out: Men's: Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Men's Outrageous Comfort, Size 8-13
- Vision Correction
One of the leading causes of snow shoveling injuries is poor eyesight, as some men and women may not be able to see icy patches and other risky areas before it's too late. If you've been putting off investing in new glasses or contact lenses, now is the perfect time to make a change for the better. Visit our Contact Lenses page to shop a huge selection of qualifying lenses, or our Rx Glasses page for a huge selection of designer frames and lenses. And don't forget our huge range of eyeglass & lens accessories!
- Cold Packs
If you suffer a bump or bruise while shoveling snow, make sure you have a cold pack ready when you come indoors! Moving from a cold environment to a hot space can speed inflammation and can make bruises even worse, so make sure you have a form of cold therapy ready to apply to the affected area to curb swelling and pain in the event of an injury.
Check Out: ACE Instant Cold Compress Twin Pack
- Kinesiology Tape
Heading out to shovel snow with existing muscle soreness or another injury can cause it to worsen, which is why kinesiology tape is such a great investment. This synthetic tape provides additional support where you need it most, whether it's a sore shoulder, knee or other joint issue. Kinesiology tape can provide the support and continued range of motion to help you tackle day-to-day tasks without pain.