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.
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Cold therapy is a necessary part of the RICE method. Sit back and let the cold sink in wherever you need it.
Wrap up the injured area to fight inflammation with compression using elastic bandages.
Father's Day arrives on Sunday, June 18, and it's your day to spend with family and friends in your celebration of all things "Dad." As enjoyable as this holiday is, it also sheds light on the indispensable role that you play in your loved ones' lives, and maintaining your overall health should be your top priority to enjoy many more Father's Days for years to come.
If you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit can cover a huge range of qualifying health products that can support your long-term health, and even help you enjoy your favorite activities more safely! Here's how to use FSA money to do just that!
- Blood Pressure Monitor
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension affects 75 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 American adults. If you have hypertension, or a family history of high blood pressure, tracking your numbers with a blood pressure monitor is a smart choice for your long-term health.
These devices will shed light on fluctuations in your blood pressure levels and create reports that you can share with your doctor to help make positive lifestyle changes for the future. Best of all, many of these devices are compatible with your smartphone!
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- TENS Machine
Have you recently contended with chronic or acute pain issues? You may be a great candidate for a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine! TENS machines administer electrotherapy, which utilizes electricity to interfere with the transmission of pain signals through the nerves to alleviate pain. These devices can also promote the release of endorphins, a form of natural pain reliever that can reduce instances of pain in a variety of situations.
- Vehicle First Aid Kit
You have a first aid kit at home to handle any emergencies, but what about your car, boat or recreational vehicle? First aid kits are FSA-eligible and can help you tackle major and minor injuries with confidence before seeking out medical attention. Adventure Medical Kits has a full line of first aid kits to suit any vehicle, lifestyle and price point.
Check Out: Adventure Medical First Aid Kits
- Mineral Sunscreen
Do you find yourself constantly re-applying sunscreen during trips to the beach or during outdoor activities? Mineral sunscreen is your answer! These products are dermatologist-tested, do not absorb directly into the skin and contain ingredients that can reflect UVA/UVB rays that contribute to sunburns. As long as sunscreen is SPF 15+, you can use your FSA to cover the sun care products that do the most for your overall wellness!
- Cold Wraps
Looking to get back into the gym this summer? Starting a new workout plan will come with its own share of post-exercise soreness, so make sure you don't stray too far from your routine with re-usable cold wraps! These pads require no pre-cooling and can be used right out of the package's resealable pouch.
For everything you need to maximize the potential of your FSA, visit FSAstore.com! Search the web's most comprehensive Eligibility List available, submit a question on our FSA Learning Center and shop the largest selection of FSA-eligible items on the web!
Muscle pull or strain? Treat a muscle pull relatively easily with a combination of rest and home remedies you can buy with a Flexible Spending Account, FSA.
Muscle strain or pull can cause intense pain and immobility in whatever the affected body part is. It's the most common sports injury, but you can also get a pulled muscle by putting undue pressure or from sudden movements while performing daily tasks such as lifting or reaching. Luckily, you can treat a muscle pull relatively easily with a combination of rest of home remedies you can buy with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
You'll know you have a muscle pull when there's swelling or bruising, pain of a specific area at rest, or even inability to use that muscle. Here is what you should do when you have pulled a muscle:
- Ice the area immediately
Ice is very effective for decreasing swelling and reducing pain. It also helps to relax the shoulder muscle to prevents spasms and stops any bleeding. Ice the muscle area 20 minutes every hour while awake.
Shop for ice packs at FSA Store
- Take Medication
Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants on a short-term basis to relieve extreme pain. A doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to reduce local inflammation, which is often the cause of pain.
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- Get Chiropractic Treatments
Seeing a chiropractor is possible with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA),and so are massage therapies (if they are medically necessary) with a letter of medical necessity. Massage therapy promotes blood flow to affected area, loosen tight muscles, and release endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers. Gentle manipulation by the chiropractor helps loosen tight back muscles and promote healing.
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Learn more about TENS Therapy
- Apply Heat Therapy
Application of heat is helpful in the long term to stimulate the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to heal the damaged tissue. Heat also decreases pain signals to the brain and increases flexibility in soft tissues around the muscles and connective tissues.
Product of the week:
Battle Creek products can help with pain relief, and they're FSA eligible.
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Shop for Battle Creek products at FSA Store
Spring is in the air, and with the temperatures warming and the world turning a refreshing shade of green, you and your loved ones are undoubtedly eager to get out and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities. Whether you're an avid gardener, love camping and hiking or thinking about a fitness regimen, the spring season is the time of year when many people overexert themselves after a winter of inactivity, which can lead to muscle strains, pulls and other related injuries.
Luckily, if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can prepare beforehand for any injuries that may arise in the coming season with heat and cold therapy. Hot and cold packs are among the most basic rehabilitative methods available, but they can dramatically speed up your recovery times, alleviate pain and help you get back to enjoying your favorite springtime hobbies.
Best of all, these are FSA-eligible items and ready for purchase with your tax-free funds!Let's explore the benefits of heat and cold therapy and why they can be your biggest ally this spring.
Heat therapy is primarily used to alleviate pain and stiffness that comes with chronic injuries, rather than ones that have arisen due to a traumatic incident, reported Sports Injury Clinic. This form of therapy is primarily used to treat chronic pain, decrease the chances of muscle spasms and promote increased blood flow to the affected area.
Hot packs can be found in numerous designs, but you must first decide between dry and moist heat therapy. Electric heating pads are preferred by some and are the easiest to apply, while moist heat methods that utilize gel may offer a deeper penetration into the muscles. These products are heated in a microwave or placed in hot water, and after reaching their desired temperatures they can be wrapped in a towel and placed on the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Ultimately, both methods come down to personal preference, but they are among the most reliable and inexpensive means of treating chronic injuries with comfort and relaxation.
As opposed to heat therapy that is meant to treat long-term injuries, cold packs are meant to treat injuries immediately after they occur. While cold therapy can be applied using a simple towel and ice cubes, cold packs are reusable and can be found in designs that are designed to wrap around an affected area. Considering these products are FSA eligible and can be stored easily in your freezer, picking up a few this spring is a no-brainer.
According to Patient.co.uk, cold packs are specifically designed to reduce bleeding in muscle tissues to reduce swelling and the duration of bruising. Additionally, cold packs can alleviate muscle pain and spasms, as well as slowly numb the area to cut down on inflammation.
Last but not least, many physical therapists ascribe to a method called contrast therapy, which alternates between the use of hot and cold packs to treat an injury. According to Human Kinetics, a cold-to-warm ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 minutes is ideal, and in many cases this method has sped recovery times for injured individuals. The best way to illustrate this is by looking at hot and cold packs as a pump: heat therapy will dilate blood vessels to increase blood flow of nutrient-rich blood, while cold therapy will constrict blood vessels and allow them to soak up as many nutrients as possible, thereby speeding the healing process.
Spring is already here, so be sure to visit FSAstore.com for all of your seasonal FSA-eligible products from hot and cold packs to bandages to sunscreen. Make sure you don't skip a beat this spring and take advantage of your FSA!