Back Brace: FSA Eligibility

Back Brace: eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
A back brace is eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). A back brace is not eligible for reimbursement with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

No prescription required.

What are the primary causes of back pain?

Back pain is among the most common forms of discomfort that adults can experience as they age. In its acute form, it can appear suddenly and can last as long as six weeks, while chronic back pain is classified for its ability to linger for 3 months or more. Back pain can arise from myriad sources, but the most common causes include via Medical News Today:

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect many different parts of the body, but it can be especially painful for individuals whose spines are affected. An example of this is spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column that can cause chronic pain issues.
  • Muscle/Ligament Injuries: This is the most common form of acute back pain, as muscle and ligament injuries caused by heavy lifting or awkward movements could result in painful injuries. These injuries are typically more common in individuals who have poor physical fitness habits.
  • Bulging/Ruptured Discs: In the human spine, the spaces between the vertebrae act as cushions for these spinal bones. In the event of injuries or excessive strain over time, these discs can bulge or rupture, which can press on nerves and cause significant back pain.
  • Skeletal Deformities: As a person ages, back pain can arise from curvature issues in the spinal column that can contribute to chronic pain issues over time. For instance, if individuals have severe scoliosis, a condition that causes the spine to curve to the side, this can be a major contributor to chronic back pain.

How do back braces work?

Back braces are designed to provide stability for the lower back during regular activity by reducing stress on the underlying joints and muscles. Additionally, back braces can provide compression therapy to promote the healing process, as well as limiting an individual's movements that may exceed the spine's range of motion and contributing to pain and lingering injuries.

These braces utilize a number of different materials in their construction but typically provide lumbar support to the lower back and restrict movement to prevent re-injury of a specific area. Ideally, these braces are worn by individuals who are experiencing acute pain from injuries or spinal conditions to help boost their recovery period and prevent future complications. However, many doctors caution against using these braces for an extended period of time. This is because the body may become dependent on the use of the brace, which could lead to an atrophy in tissues and a loss in lower back strength that could lead to more advanced injuries over time (QualityHealth).