Dr Stephen Ward


Professional info


Dr Ward studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, London, qualifying in 1990. He trained as an anaesthetist and pain specialist at St George's Hospital, London and was appointed as the first Macmillan Pain Fellow at the prestigious Walton Centre in Liverpool in 1998.

Dr Ward was appointed as a  Consultant in Pain Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in 2000 and was the clinical lead for the pain medicine department until 2018. Dr Ward is now a Consultant in Pain Medicine at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust.

 He has a private practice based at the Nuffield Hospital, Haywards Heath.

Dr Ward sees in excess of 1000 new patients per year with a wide range of pain conditions including back

pain /spinal pain, musculoskeletal pain, neurological pain, cancer pain, facial pain and headache. He performs a wide range of interventional procedures both diagnostically and therapeutically and works within a multidisciplinary team comprising surgeons, physiotherapists and psychologists delivering a comprehensive, holistic package of care for patients in pain. 


Dr Ward's primary interest is in  the diagnosis and management of spinal pain and he is  currently the Chair of the NICE Guideline on Low Back Pain and Sciatica.  The Guideline was published in 2016 (NICE Guideline NG59).

Dr Ward chaired the 2018 NICE Guideline on Rheumatoid Arthritis and is the current chair of the NICE Guideline on Epilepsy.

Dr Ward has been an elected member of Council of the British Pain Society and of the Board of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. He chaired the National Pain Audit and was Honorary Secretary of the British Pain Society's Interventional Pain Medicine group. Dr Ward is a member of the Cochrane Back Group and was a member of the Complex Spinal Surgery Clinical Reference Group. 

He is a member of the Standards Committee (evidence analysis group) of the Spine Intervention Society - a multinational specialty group and leads the European Low Back Pain Taskforce for the European Pain Federation (EFIC).

Dr Ward continues to lecture nationally and internationally and maintains a research interest in evidence reviews of pain interventions. He is currently a Masters degree student at Oxford University studying Medical Statistics. 

Recent publications include:

1. Clinical guidelines for low back pain: A critical review of consensus and inconsistencies across three major guidelines. O'Connell NECook CEWand BMWard SP. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2016 Dec;30(6):968-980. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2017.05.001.

2. Low Back Pain: What Have Clinical Guidelines Ever Done for Us? O'Connell NE, Ward SP. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Feb;48(2):54-57. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2018.0602.


3. An update of comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for interventional techniques in chronic spinal pain. Part II: guidance and recommendations.

Manchikanti L, Abdi S, Atluri S, Benyamin RM, Boswell MV, Buenaventura RM, Bryce DA, Burks PA, Caraway DL, Calodney AK, Cash KA, Christo PJ, Cohen SP, Colson J, Conn A, Cordner H, Coubarous S, Datta S, Deer TR, Diwan S, Falco FJ, Fellows B, Geffert S, Grider JS, Gupta S, Hameed H, Hameed M, Hansen H, Helm S 2nd, Janata JW, Justiz R, Kaye AD, Lee M, Manchikanti KN, McManus CD, Onyewu O, Parr AT, Patel VB, Racz GB, Sehgal N, Sharma ML, Simopoulos TT, Singh V, Smith HS, Snook LT, Swicegood JR, Vallejo R, Ward SP, Wargo BW, Zhu J, Hirsch JA.

Pain Physician. 2013 Apr;16(2 Suppl):S49-283.

4. An update of the effectiveness of therapeutic lumbar facet joint interventions.

Falco FJ, Manchikanti L, Datta S, Sehgal N, Geffert S, Onyewu O, Zhu J, Coubarous S, Hameed M, Ward SP, Sharma M, Hameed H, Singh V, Boswell MV.

Pain Physician. 2012 Nov-Dec;15(6):E909-53. Review.

4. An update of the systematic assessment of the diagnostic accuracy of lumbar facet joint nerve blocks.

Falco FJ, Manchikanti L, Datta S, Sehgal N, Geffert S, Onyewu O, Singh V, Bryce DA, Benyamin RM, Simopoulos TT, Vallejo R, Gupta S, Ward SP, Hirsch JA.

Pain Physician. 2012 Nov-Dec;15(6):E869-907. Review.

5. Systematic review of the therapeutic effectiveness of cervical facet joint interventions: an update.

Falco FJ, Manchikanti L, Datta S, Wargo BW, Geffert S, Bryce DA, Atluri S, Singh V, Benyamin RM, Sehgal N, Ward SP, Helm S 2nd, Gupta S, Boswell MV.

Pain Physician. 2012 Nov-Dec;15(6):E839-68. Review.

6. Effectiveness of therapeutic lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections in managing lumbar spinal pain.

Manchikanti L, Buenaventura RM, Manchikanti KN, Ruan X, Gupta S, Smith HS, Christo PJ, Ward SP.

Pain Physician. 2012 May-Jun;15(3):E199-245. Review.









2010 - present

2010 - present