Dr Stephen Humble MB, ChB, FCARCSI, MSc, PhD

Dr Stephen Humble is a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at Charing Cross Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, London and The London Pain Clinic, 142-146 Harley Street, London.  He also has clinics for private procedures at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth and The Weymouth Street Hospital, London.

He qualified in Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in 2000. He trained in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine in Scotland and Australia respectively. In addition, he also completed a MSc in Pain Management from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 and a PhD in Neuroscience in 2012.

He is an Associate Doctor at the London Pain Clinic, which aims to provide pain-relief and rehabilitation, allowing restoration to a productive life. His specialist interests include:

Clinical Interests

  • Ultrasound guided procedures for joint pain
  • X-ray guided procedures for back and neck pain
  • Radiofrequency treatment for neck, shoulder, back and knee pain
  • Qutenza patch therapy for neuropathic/nerve pain and neuropathy
  • Botox therapy for headaches, facial pain, back pain and neck pain
  • Cancer and chemotherapy pain
  • Clinical Research into nerve pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Expert witness for chronic pain

Selected Publications in national and international journals

My specialist skills and interests are the management of Neuropathic Pain, regional anaesthesia and spinal interventional techniques. My current post includes running the Qutenza capsaicin patch service for patients suffering from peripheral neuropathic pain. I also have an honorary contract with Imperial College and work with Professor Anand. The team is in the process running a new study of amputees that have chronic pain in their stump and have phantom limb pain using Qutenza. I keep up with the literature in field and have had a rapid response communication published earlier this year in the BMJ regarding capsaicin (hot chilli pepper).

Humble SR Could hot chilli pepper consumption reduce the prevalence of chronic pain? Rapid Response to Lv et al., Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study. BMJ 2015;351:h3942
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3942

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h3942/rr-12

Another of my specialist interests is Chronic Post Surgical Pain. This developed from working as both an Anaesthetist and a Pain Medicine specialist. I realised that there was a need for improving the intra operative management of patients undergoing major operations such as amputations, mastectomies and thoracotomies. Specifically, not enough is being done to reduce the risk of developing Chronic Post Surgical Pain in high-risk patients. I therefore led a small team that carried out a systematic review of the relevant scientific literature in this field. The results were published in the European Journal of Pain and more than ten authors have cited the work already. Hopefully the work will have an impact on patient care internationally.

Humble SR, Dalton A, Li L A systematic review of therapeutic interventions to reduce acute and chronic post-surgical pain after amputation, thoracotomy or mastectomy. Eur J Pain. 2015 Apr; 19(4):451-65. doi: 10.1002/ejp.567

http://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8080/bitstream/10044/1/15411/2/European%20Journal%20of%20Pain_2014.pdf

After completing a Fellowship in Pain Medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia, I decided to undertake a neuroscience PhD to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for neuropathic pain. The project focused on painful diabetic neuropathy and discovered novel mechanisms related to neurosteroid compounds. The entire project, including thesis was completed within 3 years and is published in full on the www.discovery.dundee.ac.uk website.

Humble SR Neurosteroids; endogenous analgesics? PhD Thesis, submitted and accepted, University of Dundee, 2013
http://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/portal/en/theses/neurosteroids(c4659466-cd41-494d-aec6-edcf50e5274b).html

Patients with spinal injuries can have very severe neuropathic pain and I have an aggressive approach to managing their pain. Some cases can develop pain that is unresponsive to all standard treatments and I innovated with medications that were untried in this situation including Calcitonin. I discovered that severe neuropathic pain could be treated with Calcitonin if the drug was used within days of the injury (it is not effective after the symptoms have become chronic). I published the results in the journal Anaesthesia and Intensive Care.

Humble SR Calcitonin for acute neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury Anaesth Intensive Care 2011, 39(4): 682-6
http://www.aaic.net.au/Document/?D=20100249

Recent presentations at national and international conferences

I present regularly at national and international conferences and previous work has been on a wide range of subjects reflecting my clinical experience and collaboration with colleagues. At the British Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting I was co-author on two poster presentations, which focused on novel clinical experience with spinal injection therapy and medication based therapy. The abstracts were published in the British Journal of Pain. Separately, I have published my work Internationally at the World Congress of the International Association for the Study of Pain in Buenos Aires and Milan respectively as well as at the 5th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain in Nice, France.

Kontouli Z, Humble S, Platt M, Ladas L, Jenner C Splanchnic nerve pulsed radiofrequency therapy under CT guidance may be a safe and effective treatment for visceral abdominal pain. British Journal of Pain 2015, Vol. 9(2): Suppl.1: 35 Presented at BPS ASM, Glasgow.

Kontouli Z, Humble S, Jenner C, Ladas L, Platt M Tapentadol may be useful for the management of breakthrough pain during and after haemodialysis in end-stage renal failure patients with chronic peripheral neuropathic pain. British Journal of Pain 2015, Vol. 9(2): Suppl. 1: 45 Presented at BPS ASM, Glasgow.

Humble SR, The impact of endogenous neurosteroids on inhibitory neurones of the pain pathway during physiological maturation and in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathic hypersensitivity. 15th World Congress of IASP, Buenos Aires, October, 2014.

Humble SR Systematic review of the management of perioperative neuropathic pain, 14th World Congress of the International Association for the study of Pain, Milan, Aug 2012

Humble SR, Neurosteroids are potential novel analgesic agents for diabetic neuropathic pain. 5th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain, Nice, France, May 2015

Dr Humble enjoys cycling, hill walking and independent cinema.