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.
Ready to get started? Here are 10 quick tips to start living a healthier lifestyle this September!
- Get up and moving!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (including 75 minutes of heavy aerobics) each week. Exercise is beneficial not only for the body, but also the brain, so make sure you schedule time for physical activity each week. Your flexible spending account can help pay for supportive products too!
- Stimulate your mind
A healthy mind is an active mind, so never stop learning and challenging yourself! Take dance lessons, attend a lecture at a local university, learn how to cook something new or read that book you've been putting off. You can learn a lot about yourself by trying something new.
- Stay social
The best way to try new things is to bring a friend along! Staying social by visiting old friends or making new ones can boost your mood and broaden your horizons.
- Improve your balance
Slips and falls are far more serious during old age, so improving your flexibility can work wonders for your long-term wellness. Tai chi classes and yoga can assist with this, you may want to look into foot cushioning insoles when you get started!
- Improve your sleep schedule
Not getting as much shuteye as you used to? The National Sleep Foundation suggests sticking to a regular schedule, avoiding electronic use one hour before bed and creating a darker sleep environment to enjoy a better sleep cycle.
- Aid your memory
Memory loss is a fact of life, but you can begin to make steps to stop it in its tracks. As you get older, try getting more organized; making lists and following routines can provide a helping hand to your memory.
- Eat smart
You are what you eat, and if you haven't made the switch to unprocessed, natural foods, you are doing yourself a disservice! Elizabeth Eckstrom, MD, MPH, director of geriatrics at the Oregon Health & Science University, told http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/health-highlights-september-healthy-aging-month">WebMD that the Mediterranean diet is a great way to get started.
- Enjoy the great outdoors
Not only is this a great opportunity to get some extra exercise, but being outside is a great opportunity to start a conversation with a neighbor, explore a new place or simply soak up some vitamin D!
Whether you're looking for a way to give back or a new way to socialize, volunteering is a wonderful way to get back into the community and connect with new and old friends.
- Schedule a physical
The easiest way to live a healthier life is to be as informed as possible about your overall wellness. At the very least, schedule a yearly physical so you can go over your recent health history and prepare for whatever may be coming down the road.
Got fall on your mind? The season of beautiful foliage, pumpkin spice and delightful weather is also a time when many companies will hold their Open Enrollment periods, the one time a year that employees can make important benefits changes for the year ahead. If you were enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) in the past year or are thinking of going for one in 2018, knowing just how much you can put into your account is pivotal for your annual health spending plans.
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service sets the contribution limits for individuals opening an FSA and married couples filing jointly. This limit is subject to indexing based on the increase in Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) each year.
In 2017, the individual limit for FSA contributions was $2,600, but the IRS slightly raising the limit for 2018 to be $2,650. Check the chart below for all the information you'll need to make an informed decision this Open Enrollment!
|Flexible Spending Account (FSA) (also known as general medical FSA)|
|Yearly Contribution Limits||$2,650 per FSA. If both spouses have an FSA through their respective employers, they could each elect the maximum for $5,300 per household|
|Plan Year||Most often 1 year. In limited circumstances, there may be a short plan year.|
|Eligibility to Contribute||FSA plans can only be sponsored by employers and eligibility rules are set by each plan. Employees who work for employers who offer FSA plans may contribute up to the allowed maximum per year. Self-employed individuals and owners of certain types of corporations are not eligible for an FSA.|
|Account Ownership||An FSA account is owned and set up by the employer.|
|Access to Money||An employee's yearly FSA allocation is available in full on the first day of the plan year, regardless of contributions to date.|
|Change Contributions?||FSA users can only change their contributions during their Open Enrollment periods. Some plans also allow changes to contributions to be made if the account holder experiences a Qualifying Life Event, such as marriage, divorce, or birth of child.|
|Special Rules/Eligibility Exceptions||Employers can choose one of two (or none) options to provide relief for FSA users who would otherwise have to forfeit leftover funds: the $500 rollover and the 2.5 month grace period. The $500 rollover allows FSA users to move up to $500 of the previous plan year's contribution into next year's allocation (without counting against the overall contribution limit) to avoid forfeiting money to their employers at year end.|
The second is the FSA Grace Period, which gives users 2.5 months after the last day of their plan years to spend down their remaining FSA funds.
For more information about what an FSA can cover, visit the FSA Eligibility List.
With winter temperatures and wintry weather in store, did you know you can prep with your Flexible Spending Account or FSA?
How can I prevent winter weather falls?
A slip on an icy driveway or sidewalk can sneak up on anyone, but before you start preparing for potential injuries, make an effort to ensure they never happen! There are a number of important steps you can take this winter to prevent slips and falls on icy roads and walkways, including:
- Invest in footwear with good traction, or gripping shoes like snow spikes
- Allow for increased travel time to walk at a slower pace
- Avoid carrying heavy loads on ice
- Bend knees and take shorter steps when walking on ice to prevent falls
What rehabilitative products can speed the healing process?
Even with the proper outerwear, caution and advanced preparations, accidents on icy roads and walkways can strike unexpectedly. As such, it's vital that you have the right types of rehabilitative products at home that can help you bounce back and return to your normal routine quickly. Best of all, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you can use your tax-free funds to cover these helpful products.
Here are a few to keep in mind for wintry weather:
In the event of a muscle sprain or pull, immobilizing the affected area is key to promoting the healing process. Elastic bandages provide a form of compression therapy to reduce inflammation and ease pain, as well as stabilizing the injured areas to prevent re-injury.
Check Out: ACE 3" Self-Adhering Bandage
Your FSA covers a wide range of therapeutic products like heating pads, cold packs and other products that are designed to control inflammation, alleviate pain and promote improved blood circulation. Whether you're fighting a bruise, muscle pull or other significant injury, hot and cold therapy are indispensable in the recovery process.
Check Out: Thermal-Aid Large Sectional
When slipping on ice, individuals can inadvertently put excessive strain on ankles or knees, or placing the full force of their body weight on their wrists in an effort to brace for a fall. Athletic braces are highly recommended by doctors and physical trainers alike, and they can limit awkward movements that could contribute to re-injury, as well as stabilizing these joints to speed healing.
Check Out: TheraPearl Knee Wrap
Over-the-counter (OTC) Pain Relievers
OTC pain relievers require a prescription from a doctor for reimbursement through an FSA, but they are extremely effective in controlling pain after an injury. Opt for non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), which not only relieve pain but can also reduce swelling to improve recovery times.
Check Out: Bayer Extra Strength Plus Buffered Aspirin Caplets(This item will require a prescription for FSA reimbursement).
Suffering from a cold or sinus pain? Learn about 6 of our favorite products to treat a cold in a drug-free way. Shop for these with an FSA at FSAstore.com!
Colds are a fact of life, but just because you're dealing with one, doesn't mean you have to let it overpower the day. You can easily use your Flexible Spending Account to effectively treat a cold with a variety of items (and many of them are drug-free).
There are different types of remedies you can try for treating a cold, and certainly there are products that can tackle various types of pains associated with a cold.
Got puffy eyes?
When you're dealing with a cold or allergies, red and puffy eyes are often a symptom of your body's response. Luckily, there's a special hot or cold therapy eye mask that can help relieve puffy, dry eyes and reduce swelling or soreness from nasal congestion or sinus headaches. Say goodbye to the sinus pain, and instead relax with the eye mask.
You can use the eye mask either cold or hot, and it'll adjust to your face shape and provide the relief and comfort you need.
Check out: TheraPearl Eye Mask at FSAstore.com
Need to monitor a fever?
Easily take care of yourself or your family through the Kinsa Smartphone Thermometer, which not only gives quick 10-second readings but also lets you monitor fevers for everyone in the family. The Kinsa thermometer connects to your smartphone through a free app for iOS and Android.
Shop for Kinsa Smartphone Thermometer
If you have a little one at home, the TempTraq Bluetooth Thermometer for baby will help you monitor baby's temperature in a convenient, non-invasive way through a soft and comfortable patch. You can monitor your baby's fever in the next room over through (up to 40 feet away) the TempTraq app, and even share temperature data via email with your doctor or family members.
Shop for TempTraq Baby Bluetooth Thermometer
Are you children sick?
Unlike regular dry tissues, Boogie Wipes Saline Nose Wipes can help kids noses by dissolving mucus from a common cold or more. These wipes are specially formulated to clean and moisturize, and also dissolve mucus. They're soft, hypoallergenic, and alcohol, phthalate and paraben free!
Shop for Boogie Wipes at FSAstore.com
Want to provide cooling or warm therapy relief?
Another great item for the kids are Thermal-Aid Zoo Animals. These natural, drug-free hot or therapy stuffed animals can easily be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer for comfort. They are made from 100% natural cotton and a specially-engineered corn that produces the hot/cold element. They're also washable and can be used to reduce fever and other types of pain.
Give your kids cuddly relief with an FSA through Thermal-Aid Zoo Animals!
Alternatively, you may need some relief, as well. Shop the Cara SelectHeat LCD Moist or Dry Heating pad for your own comfort.
Congested and havesinus pain?
Dealing with nasal congestion or sinus pressure is never fun, but your FSA can come in handy if you're looking to treat these symptoms. Your FSA can cover saline sprays, warm steam vaporizers, personal handheld steam inhaler and more.
Shop for these and other Cold and Allergy products
Shop for Children's Cold and Allergy products
Of course, you can also buy products like Benadryl or Claritin or Sudafed, but these items will require a prescription to be reimbursed by an FSA.
The Chicago Tribune recently posted an article about the upcoming FSA deadline. FSAstore.com was mentioned in that article. Read the full post for details.
The Chicago Tribune recently published an article reminding Americans with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that the spending deadline is fast approaching for some. Those who have a December 31 FSA plan-year deadline were reminded to use their remaining dollars, before it's too late.
Of course, not every person enrolled inaFlexible Spending Accounthas the December 31 deadline, and some people even have deadline extensions such as a Grace Period or Carryover option. This really depends on the plan and varies per employer. If you're not 100% sure which option applies to you, or whenyour deadline may be, now is a good time to check in with your FSA administrator on your account to see what your timeline is, and what your leftover balance is. There's still time to spend down an FSA, but with the holidays approaching, it's good to get started on that sooner rather than later.
"The year is nearly up, which means that you've got very little time to empty out your Flexible Spending Account.
These accounts save you about 30 percent on out-of-pocket medical expenses by letting you use pre-tax dollars on eligible medical, pharmaceutical, dental and eye care costs — but the challenge is determining which products are qualified before the money in your account expires.
There are about 35 million Americans covered by an FSA, and the average account holder will leave $170 in that account at the end of the plan year of calendar year, according to a 2014 VISA survey.
That's money you could be spending on everything from glasses to Band-Aids to sunscreen. Need more ways to spend that money that's sitting in your account? We grilled the experts to find some creative ways to spend it so that your money won't be wasted."
Read the full Chicago Tribune articleviahttp://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-cons-1210-flexible-spending-account-solutions-20151207-story.html
Have a December 31 deadline? Shop at FSAstore.com and use your remaining dollars for FSA-eligible products!
Is your son or daughter in college and dealing with a cold? Share an FSA eligible care package and keep them healthy year round!
Share an FSA eligible product care package!
With winter just around the corner and midterms following shortly after, the last thing your overworked and stressed out college student needs is to contend with the common cold. It's easy to feel helpless with your child miles away at school without you to care for them, but if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can easily put together a care package to safeguard your young scholar throughout cold season.
Here are a few FSA eligible products that can play a major role in keeping your son or daughter healthy in the coming months.
Hot or Cold Therapy Eye Mask
This eye mask is the perfect solution for sinus pain, headaches and dry, puffy eyes. This easy-to-use eye mask can take away stinging or swelling.
Check out: TheraPearl Hot or Cold Therapy Eye Mask
Neti Pots, Handheld Steam Inhalers or Warm Steam Vaporizers
A Neti pot is an invaluable tool to ward off the symptoms of fall allergies, sinus infections and common colds. Saline irrigation is a proven therapy for nasal congestion, which uses a salt and water solution to flush out nasal passages. A Neti pot is an effective means of thinning out mucous in the nose and throat, which can help your college student sleep better, reduce discomfort and bounce back quickly from a cold.
If your son or daughter would rather warm steam, the handheld steam inhaler or the warm steam vaporizer will not only add relief but also provide soothing air to alleviate symptoms.
Check Out: NeilMed NasaFlo Neti Pot, 8 oz
Check Out: MyPurMist Handheld Steam Inhaler
Check out: Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer
Effervescent tablets typically contain a cocktail of medications, including aspirin, citric acid and anti-inflammatory agents that can treat a variety of cold symptoms. The foaming action of these tablets can also soothe sore throats and combat nasal congestion. Please note: These items require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
Your college student is constantly on the go, and a runny nose is a heavy burden to overcome. Luckily, saline spray can fit into a purse or backpack with ease to provide nasal irrigation therapy that can tackle one of the most debilitating symptoms of sinus infections and colds.
Complete your care package with soups, slippers, warm socks or a few of your son/daughter's favorite DVDs that will give them a taste of home while they recover from an illness. Visit FSAstore.com today to explore the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products that can keep your scholar in great shape all winter long!
To support breast cancer awareness, FSA Store joined the American Cancer Society's Making Strides walk this weekend.
It'sNational Breast Cancer Awareness month.To support the cause, our FSAstore.com team enjoyed participating in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” 5-mile walk in Central Parkagain this weekend. We enjoyed it last year, too.
Each year, millions of Americansjoin the walk to honorthose touched by cancer- whetherit'ssurvivors, knowingsomeone who's fighting the disease, or commemorating loved ones.
How can you reduce your risk of breast cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, "When breast cancer is found early, it can be easier to treat. If you are 40 or older, get a mammogram and breast exam every year and report any breast changes to your doctor right away."
It adds, "Sign up for our breast cancer screening reminder and we’ll remind you to receive your screening; recommended screenings are based on our latest early detection guidelines."
Did you know your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can help, as well? You can use your FSA in a few ways to monitor the risk of cancer. You can get a mammogram and breast exam and use your FSA toward the cost. You might also be able to use an FSA for a surgery. TheIRSlists how you can apply an FSA.
Check out theEligibility List for additionaldetails on what’s covered.
The American Cancer Society recommends a few other ways to reduce the risk, including maintaining a healthy weight, staying active throughout the week, and limiting alcohol intake.
Have you been enrolled in an FSA for some time? Are you new to FSAs and want to learn more? Take our quiz to test your knowledge about FSA plans.
Are you a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) expert? Open enrollment periods are quickly approaching (depending on when your company has this specific period to select benefits), and now is the time to familiarize yourself a bit more with anFSA. Maybe you've been using FSAs for years, or maybe you're considering enrolling this year. Are you an FSA expert or just getting to know these accounts? Either way, you'll be happy to know that these pre-tax accounts can not only help you save money, but can be applied to lots of qualified healthcare expenses during the year. So, whether you want to use an FSA for medical services like dental cleanings, vision exams, visits to the doctor's office or more, your FSA can be a great help. Did you also know you can use an FSA for products like hot/cold therapy packs, first aid kits, breastpumps, smartphone-compatible blood pressure monitors, prescription eyeglasses and even contact lenses?
FSAstore.com is here to help you navigate FSAs. Our mission has always been to make it easy for anyone with an FSA to manage and use these accounts. In addition to selling thousandsof exclusivelyFSA-eligible products, we also offer resources to make it simple to understand your FSA to maximize how you can use the plan throughout the year. Browse our comprehensive FSA Eligibility List for information about FSA eligible expenses ranging from products to medical services. Use our FSA Calculator to estimate your potential savings by having an FSA. Check out our Rx Process to learn about how we can help you process any prescriptions for those FSA eligible items that require an Rx. And, last but not least, we'll keep you updated on important changes or information regarding FSAs and the industry right here on the blog.
Take our quiz below put yourFSA knowledge to the test, or simply use this linkto directly access it. Proud of your results? Share themwith friends and family on social media!
Whether you're easing into a new fitness program or looking to bounce back quicker, get your FSA eligible cold pack ready for a bit of cryostretching.
How to use FSA eligible cold packs for "cryostretching"
Any physical trainer will tell you that stretching before and after your workout is essential to avoid lingering soreness and exposing yourself to a potentially serious injury. But have you ever gone the extra mile to try "cryostretching?"
Cryostretching has become increasingly popular among physical trainers and amateur athletes alike, and it can be done using a standard cold pack that many of us already have in our homes. This technique has the ability to reduce muscle spasms and increase flexibility, resulting in a far more beneficial stretch overall. Whether you're easing into a new fitness program or looking to bounce back quicker from your regimen, get your FSA eligible cold pack ready for a bit of cryostretching! Here's how to get started:
Pre- and Post-Workout Cryostretching
Cryostretching involves a period of cold therapy, stretching and a relaxation period to prep the body for physical activity or help it recover. Ideally, this technique can be utilized on joints and specific muscles that may have given you trouble in the past, or those which you are planning to target in your fitness regimen.
First, a cold pack is placed on a specific area for about 20 minutes, during which the body part should become nearly numb. Next, perform two sets of stretches for 60 seconds each with a 20 second rest period in between. Do not alter your stretching method and aim to slowly increase the distance of the stretch with each repetition.
How does cryostretching make a difference?
Cryostretching before and after each workout can produce a more effective stretch and lessens the possibility of debilitating injuries. On a physiological level, cryostretching will numb an area of the body and prevent muscle spasms during stretching, which in turn reduces pain and enable a more efficient stretch. When stretching post-workout, muscles are left in a shortened state after constant contraction, so they will be left tight and sore if they are not returned to their natural position after a workout. Cryostretching can boost this post-workout stretch and reduce the lingering pain that is present after significant physical activity.
If you find yourself struggling with nagging injuries or simply can't bounce back from a tough workout as soon as you'd like, give cryostretching a try! Best of all, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you can purchase the perfect cold pack for the job at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to maximize your employee benefits and your overall health.
Shop for Cold Packs at FSA Store
How KT Tape can Help
KT Tape is the leading brand of Kinesiology Tape. Ithelps athletes and non-athletes deal with common strains and painsin an easy-to-apply strip.KT Tape is elastic and providesalight massaging effect to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Shop for KT Tape at FSAstore.com
There seems to be a blurred line between the common cold and the flu, but it’s important to know the difference. Learn more on the blog about these two.
There seems to be a blurred line between the common cold and the flu, but it’s important to know the difference. Similar symptoms tend to be more severe along with other negative effects when you have the flu. A cold is a milder respiratory illness that can make you feel bad for a few days, while the flu can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also yield more serious health problems down the road such as pneumonia and hospitalizations.
How to treat a Cold
You’re contagious the first two or three days of your cold, so make sure to stay home and rest up. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated as your immune system uses up a lot of water to battle cold symptoms.
Since colds are caused by a viral infection, antibiotics will not help in treating your cold. Over-the-counter medications prescribed by your doctor are eligible expenses with your Flexible Spending Account. For example, anti-histamines, decongestants, and acetaminophen can help relieve congestion, aches, and other cold symptoms.
Some people also take supplements like zinc, vitamin C, or echinacea but studies haven’t confirmed whether these remedies help speed up the recovery process or alleviate symptoms. Colds usually clear up within a few days, but see a doctor if your cold hasn’t improved in about a week or if you develop persistent fevers. Potential reasons could be that you have allergies, a bacterial infection, asthma, or bronchitis.
Shop for Thermal-Aid at FSAstore.com
Shop for Cold Products
|Cold Symptoms:||Flu Symptoms:|
|Runny or stuffy nose||Runny or stuffy nose|
|Sore throat||Sore throat|
|Mild to moderate fever||Moderate to high fever (not everyone will run a fever)|
|Cough||Dry, hacking cough|
|Body aches||Severe muscle or body aches|
|Mild tiredness||Profound fatigue (may last up to two weeks)|
How to Treat theFlu
The flu is another upper respiratory illness that can develop into a more serious condition such as pneumonia. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with immunocompromising health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes are especially vulnerable.
Unlike colds, which can hit at any time of year, flu season typically runs from fall to spring with a peak during the winter months. You can catch the flu the same way you catch a cold - by coming into contact with an infected person.
The active strains of the flu virus vary from year to year which is why a new flu vaccine is formulated and released each year. Getting flu shots is an eligible expense with your Flexible Spending Account.
Just as with a cold, fluids and rest are the best way to treat the flue. Your doctor might also prescribe over-the-counter decongestants and pain relievers you can purchase with an FSA to control your symptoms. In addition, you might be prescribed antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), or peramivir (Rapivab) to treat the flu. These FSA eligible medicineswill shorten the duration of the flu and prevent an onset of pneumonia. However, they must be taken within the first 48 hours of getting sick to have a positive impact. Note: You will need a prescription to shop for FSA eligible medicines and to get reimbursed by your FSA.
Pain in your muscles and joints can be treated using hot and cold therapies. It’s a popular treatment option because it’s simple. Learn about it in the post
A lot of pain in your muscles and joints can be treated using hot and cold therapies. It’s a popular treatment option because it’s relatively simple, non-invasive, and non-addictive.
It’s important to know the difference between the two so you know which is more appropriate to use for each situation. Luckily many products nowadays have a dual purpose and can be used for both heat and cold therapy.
In general, cold therapy is used first, for the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury. Cold therapy is particularly good for treating sprains, strains, bumps, and bruises that may occur in sports or lifting. This is because of its role in slowing blood circulation to an area, reducing both pain, muscle spasm, and inflammation.
Cold is applied by an ice or gel pack to injured areas for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Every 10 minutes, the ice pack should be removed for 10 minutes before reapplying again.
Heat therapy, on the other hand, increases blood flow to the injured area. It should be applied if you have stiff joints or chronic muscle and joint pain. Increased blood flow supplies crucial oxygen and nutrients to reduce pain in joints and relax sore muscles, ligaments and tendons. Warmth also decreases muscle spasms and can increase range of motion.
Heat can be applied through both dry or moist methods, although the latter may penetrate better. Options include heating pad, hot water bottle, gel packs, or hot water baths all at a warm (not hot) and consistent temperature.Don’t apply heat for longer than 20 minutes or use it on open wounds and stitches.Think about incorporating warming elements into your daily routine, such as warming your clothes in the dryer before dressing, or using an electric blanket and turning it up for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
But, before you hit the road for your next trip, don't forget to pack some healthy products! You'll never know when you might need that band-aid, or a hot/cold pack for minor aches, and you'll be happy you packed these. It's also a great way to save by using your Flexible Spending Account…so you save on out-of-pocket costs,and get the items you'll need for your next road trip or vacation.
Bring Healthy Products with Your FSA
Going for a roadtrip this summer?
Whether you're going cross country or traveling a few states over, pick up a few must-haves for the car. Of course, you'll need snacks and water to keep you fueled along the way,but don't forget about first-aid just in case.
You can use your FSA to buy healthy items before you take off
Here's our top five of recommended items:
Top 5 Health Essentials
- A comprehensive First-aid kit containing all the treatments such as bandages, gauze and band-aids.Check out Adventure Medical's selection of kits depending on your needs.
- Hot and cold therapy for any pains and aches you might be experiencing. You can use these convenient packs for headaches, knee pain, back pain and much more, and you'll be glad you packed them before you're on the road. Check out TheraPearl for relief!
- Get some sunscreen for you and your family/friends. You'll be spending time in and out of the car, and the sun can be intense during the drive.Make sure you protect your skin from damaging UV rays.
- Elastic bandages like KT Tape will give you additional support for the long drive.
- Keep Emergency Equipment in the car. Though it can be daunting to think about, defibrillators are life-changing products that can make a difference in anyone's life. Be sure to learn more about them and shop for these from Philips.
- Wristbands for motion sickness from Psi Bands to reduce the chance of motion sickness during any travel.
- Other road trip necessities:
- Bring a camera. While you're on the road, you'll undoubtedly want to stop along the way, and maybe even take a scenic route. You can capture fun moments with family and friends with your camera!
- Snacks including nuts, fruit, and trail mix to give you additional energy
- Enough water for all to stay hydrated
- A flashlight, just in case.
Traveling with kids?
Kids will want to enjoy the road trip with you, but inevitably might get sick. Luckily, your FSA can help, so the kids aren't distracted by sickness!
Don't forget to pack:
- A mini first-aid kit
Or, instead of buying these items separately, check out our available bundles! These bundles conveniently package a variety of items for your healthcare needs!
The fall is rarely on our minds during August. But, for those who suffer from fall allergies, now is the calm before the storm when runny noses, watery eyes and other allergic symptoms are just around the corner. While many believe that the crisp fall air will be devoid of allergens, there are a number of unique triggers that are present during autumn that can cause major problems for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.
- Ragweed and mold are the primary culprits during this time of year, as ragweed begins to bloom in the late summer and early fall, and its pollen can travel up to 400 miles in the wind.Mold spores thrive in soil, compost, leaf piles, and even in the inside of your home, and they can linger long after the first frost takes place.
Fall allergy season will be here before you know it, so make sure you’re prepared by shopping at FSAstore.com! With thousands of FSA eligible products that you can purchase with your FSA card or credit/debit card, you can ensure continued health for you and everyone else you care for.
Flexible Spending Account Tips
Before fall allergy season hits in full force, this is the ideal time of year to use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover a wide range of anti-allergy medications and treatments. Here are a few strategies to fight fall allergies and vital FSA eligible products that can help you along the way.
Treat Allergies with FSA eligible products
You can get allergy relief with various FSA eligible products. Popular products such as neti pots, saline solution, warm steam vaporizers and nasal sprays are covered by a Flexible Spending Account.
Your FSA covers qualifying medications to treat your allergy symptoms. This is the perfect time to your use tax-free funds on antihistaminesand decongestants that can help you get through the day. It’s important to note that over-the-counter (OTC) medications require a prescription from a doctor for FSA reimbursement, so making anappointment in the next several weeks is pivotal to picking up everything you’ll need to make it throughthe fall allergy season.