Treat everyday aches and pains like a marathon runner

Living Well

Last month, 98,247 entrants of all backgrounds, training regimens and fitness levels trekked through New York City with the common dream of completing the New York Marathon. Some finished with ease. Some never finished at all. But one thing is for certain -- all were feeling some serious aches and pains the following day.

But you don't have to compete in marathons or 10Ks to put stress on your feet, legs and joints. Sometimes, just walking around the office each day is enough to bring on nagging pains from head to toe.

Just because your finish line is in your office and not Times Square doesn't mean you shouldn't treat your injuries with anything less than top-notch care. For true treatment and care pain-relief, there is a world of options at your disposal -- and many of them are FSA-eligible!

Compression...

As the third component of the vaunted "RICE" -- Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation -- method of recovery, compression has long been considered a vital treatment.

We've covered compression treatment extensively on these pages, and with good reason. From fitness enthusiasts to those suffering from leg disorders, compression garments serve a wide range of needs, helping countless people recover from exercise, disorders and more.

What's unique about compression garments, like socks, is that they are beneficial for bodies that see excessive activity, such as marathon runners, as well as those that suffer from long periods of inactivity, such as pilots, drivers, and the like.

Please note -- compression garments are eligible for reimbursement with an FSA, HSA or HRA (as long as they meet specific guidelines). This means the standard, exercise-grade compression sleeves are likely not eligible. However, there is a chance they may be eligible for reimbursement with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a physician if used to treat a medical condition.

Athletic tape...

We don't think athletic tape gets enough credit. But just ask professional athletes where their careers would be if a roll of fabric athletic tape hadn't been available to add support and pressure on injured muscles and joints.

Still, athletic tape isn't exactly a product category with innovation, so when one comes along, we acknowledge it. More advanced support tape, such as KT Tape, is made from a highly engineered synthetic material, and might just be what you need for extra relief.

Built with flexibility in mind, these tapes allow athletes to provide more targeted support for specific pains through an elastic, waterproof design that even stays on tricky parts of your body, so you don't need to reapply often.

While traditional athletic tape is good for securing injured areas, KT Tape also lifts the upper skin layers to create a gap between the skin and muscle, which alleviates pressure on sore muscles and allows for greater movement.

Old-fashioned ice… in an all-new package

Sometimes, innovation is as simple as taking a classic idea and making it better. Despite years of research devoted to better forms of pain relief, how many ways have proven to be better than icing down an injury? Not many…

That's not to say companies haven't found a way to improve on an approach that works. Take for example, a more-advanced cold delivery pain relief system, which adheres directly to your joints, applying concentrated cold specifically to a target area, without the need for endless layers of tape, gauze, or fabric bandages. These items are FSA-eligible, and give you a more-efficient form of pain relief.

In the end, you may not be training to complete a marathon, but that doesn't mean your body isn't suffering with athlete-level aches and pains each day. Don't just rely on a few ibuprofen (also FSA-eligible with a prescription) and extended time on the couch (unless a doctor says to do just that).

Instead, treat these discomforts just like a marathon runner would … but expect funny looks if you sprint into your living room like you're crossing a finish line.

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