Cold Compress, Pain Relief: HSA Eligibility

Cold Compress, Pain Relief: eligible with a Health Savings Account (HSA)

Cold compresses for pain relief are eligible over-the-counter (OTC) items that do not require a prescription for reimbursement through a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Cold compresses for pain relief are not eligible for reimbursement with a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

How are cold compresses used to treat pain?

These are a mainstay in countless American homes to treat both major and minor muscle/joint injuries when they arise, as they are one of the most effective means available of reducing inflammation around an injured body part. 

From traditional ice placed in plastic bags to ready-made packs placed in the freezer to devices that are designed ergonomically to fit specific body parts, cold packs can be found in styles to suit just about any type of stress or strain injury. In addition to reducing swelling and pain, cold therapy can help to limit the amount of bruising by lessening blood flow to the affected area, thereby restricting internal bleeding and the overall size of the bruise.

Cold packs are a means of applying cold therapy (also known as cryotherapy), a method of treating muscle or joint injuries with the direct application of ice or a frozen gel pack. These devices are invaluable for their ability to reduce bleeding in muscle tissues to control 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. Cold packs should be applied to the affected area for 24 to 48 hours after the injury has taken place, and to avoid damaging the skin, these cold packs should be kept on the skin for 20 minutes at a time (Healthline).

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