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About 30% of the population of the United States suffers from acute or chronic pain, often of unknown cause. Among this group might be included patients with symptoms claimed to be caused by a poorly defined condition called “chronic
Lyme disease” in which chronic pain is a major contributor. Since there is no evidence to indicate that chronic
Lyme disease is due to a persistent infection and that extended antibiotic therapy is beneficial and safe, this condition should not be viewed solely as an infectious
disease problem. Rather, it should be considered within the context of a broad-based, multidisciplinary approach to determining the cause of chronic pain per se and developing more effective strategies for its treatment as outlined in a recent report on pain issued by the Institute of Medicine.