Our review aimed to summarize and evaluate evidence on the effectiveness of bee venom acupuncture (BVA) in the treatment of shoulder pain.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effectiveness of BVA on shoulder pain were searched up to October 2019 in 11 electronic databases (Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, CiNii, CNKI, VIP, Wanfang, Kmbase, NDSL, RISS, OASIS). The methodological quality of the included RCTs were evaluated using Cochrane Risk of Bias tool and a meta-analysis was performed.
Seven studies were included in the review, and four studies were included in the meta-analysis. Comparing BVA plus conventional therapy (CT) with saline injection plus CT, it showed an effect in favor of BVA plus CT in visual analog scale (VAS) and pain rating scale (PRS) (p = 0.02, p = 0.009, respectively). Comparing BVA plus physiotherapy (PT) with saline injection plus PT, it showed that there was no significant difference in VAS and verbal rating scale (VRS) between the two groups.
This systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that BVA could be beneficial as an adjuvant treatment for shoulder pain.

© 2020 Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute.