Living Well

5 drug-free pain relief options for National Physical Therapy Month

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/self-care-approaches-to-treating-pain/art-20208634

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/325107-overview

http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

Eligibility

Preventing college colds with an FSA

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

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.

Check Out: Alka-Seltzer Plus Day & Night, Effervescent Tablets, 10 ea

Saline Spray

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.

Check Out: Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist, Super Size 3 fl oz.

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!

FSA Store Supports Making Strides

To support breast cancer awareness, FSA Store joined the American Cancer Society's Making Strides walk this weekend.

FSA Store team at the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk. 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.

Living Well

How to go about "cryostretching"

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.

spot-862274_640

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

KTtape_p1KT 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

Eligibility

Prepare for the road with your FSA

If you're planning any road trips this summer, your Flexible Spending Account or FSA can come in really handy! Summer is the time where all of us will be spending more time outdoors!

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Elastic bandages like KT Tape will give you additional support for the long drive.
  5. 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.
  6. Wristbands for motion sickness from Psi Bands to reduce the chance of motion sickness during any travel.
  • Other road trip necessities:
  1. 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!
  2. Snacks including nuts, fruit, and trail mix to give you additional energy
  3. Enough water for all to stay hydrated
  4. 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:

  1. 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!