Prep for wintry weather with an FSA

With wintry weather becoming a fixture in the weekly forecast, each step you take outdoors is about to become more treacherous. Slips and falls due to icy conditions are among the most common winter weather injuries, which can result in injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to major bone fractures and muscle sprains.

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:

Elastic Bandages

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

Hot/Cold Packs

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

Knee/Ankle/Wrist Braces

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).

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