What You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

About 1 in 25 people in the UK are affected by Fibromyalgia. Generally, more women than men experience symptoms. Those symptoms vary greatly from person to person and change daily. One of the primary symptoms of this life-long disorder is pain and tenderness throughout the body. Other symptoms can include fatigue, problems sleeping, an inability to get a restorative sleep, headaches, dizziness, and anxiety.


Because symptoms vary greatly and no blood test does not yet exist, it is difficult to diagnose Fibromyalgia. Doctors look for three to six areas of severe pain, or seven or more areas of milder pain throughout the body with no injury or other or other reasons why this pain would have occurred and that the pain has persisted for at least three months.

Living with Fibromyalgia

Although there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, symptoms can be treated and managed. Because symptoms vary for person to person, the same treatments will not work for everyone. In addition to medications, physiotherapy, or occupational therapy can help alleviate symptoms. Many patients also experience relief from alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture.


The pain and sleep disorders associated with Fibromyalgia make living with it exhausting, stressful, and frustrating for many patients. Low impact exercise such as walking or swimming can help, as can having a set routine and bed time. In addition, assistive devices can help make daily living with Fibromyalgia easier.

Aids for Living with Fibromyalgia

The widespread pain and exhaustion can affect a huge portion of a patient’s daily routine. Using practical aids, tasks can be easier and the patient’s self-esteem and independence are retained.

Bathing Aids

Muscle stiffness and pain can make getting in and out of the shower or tub quite difficult. In addition, reaching feet or putting arms overhead can pose problems. Assistive devices such as long-handled sponges, foot cleaners, and grab rails make bathing much easier.

Dressing and Comfort Aids

Stiff fingers can make even the simplest dressing tasks more difficult. Tying laces and zipping or buttoning pants can pose a terrific challenge. Also, many Fibromyalgia sufferers find cold increases their pain and warming tools such as heating pads help alleviate their pain. In addition, sitting for long stretches often increases stiffness and pain. Items such as self-binding laces, extra-long shoe horns, warming devices, and support cushions all help mitigate these symptoms.

Mobility Aids

Pain and fatigue can be big contributors to reduced mobility, which often results in a poorer quality of life and lower self-esteem. To help patients get around, consider walking sticks, crutches, or walkers.

Therapeutic Aids

Therapy to relax muscles and relieve stiffness often help patients experience a reduction in symptoms. Certain devices can help with those therapeutic efforts, such as positioning aids, massage oil, resistive bands, and exercise balls.



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Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).