What is pear-shaped muscle syndrome and how to get rid of it

Pear-shaped muscle is an isosceles triangle that begins at the bottom of the spine (attached to the anterior surface of the sacrum lateral to the II and IV sacral orifices) and connects to the upper femur.

Its function is to guide the hips and rotate them outward (unfolds legs and feet). It is this mechanism that is used in the first stage of walking and running, when we are just going to make a step.

pear-shaped muscle syndrome: muscle


Signs of the syndrome: tingling, pain, or numbness in the gluteus muscle area. It is often confused with pain in the sciatic nerve, since the pear-shaped muscle is located next to it.

When the pear-shaped muscle is irritated, inflamed or swollen, the sciatic nerve also suffers. The runners go to the doctor and complain about the wrong part of the body. They talk about pain in the buttocks, as if they are knocked down by an electric discharge, starting from this place and along the entire leg down. Patients try to get rid of unpleasant sensations with the help of stretching, but in the end the pain only increases.

Dr. Daniel Vigil, a specialist in sports medicine in Los Angeles, says that this is what the typical history of pear-shaped muscle syndrome looks like.

This is not a sharp pain that you suddenly feel when you run. Rather, it is slowly progressing, insidious painful sensations. Most often, runners face this problem after running on the hills. After stretching, the pear-shaped muscle syndrome not only does not pass, but slowly and confidently progresses.


The first thing to do after confirming the diagnosis is to calm and relax the intense inflamed muscle. The procedure is very simple – stop all training. Dr. Vigil uses two options to strengthen the pear-shaped muscle: stretching and special running exercises.

In addition, you should find a coach and learn how to run properly, since the most common cause of this unpleasant syndrome is the wrong running technique.

Massage roller or tennis ball can be a good solution for relaxing tense and tired muscles. True, you will have to work hard, since this kind of massage is good mainly for the large muscles lying on the surface (the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, gluteus muscles and so on).

Getting to the pear-shaped muscle is much more difficult, but it is possible to do this, especially if you choose a massage roller with a relief surface. That’s why Vigil recommends using a tennis ball.

You will need to just sit on it, find a sore point and sit on it for a while.

pear-shaped muscle syndrome: ball

Alternatively, move the working leg to the position shown in the picture below, and roll on the ball forward-back or in a circle.

pear-shaped muscle syndrome: exercise with a ball

Recovery times

If you could quickly diagnose the problem, getting rid of it is quite simple: if you follow all the rules, the pain will be literally in a few weeks. The statistics say that you can take two to four or four to six weeks to recover.

Also, the presence of pear-shaped muscle syndrome does not mean completely giving up training. You must stop running, but you can perform other exercises to maintain physical fitness: swim, ride a bicycle or use an elliptical trainer – in general, something less traumatic for the pear-shaped muscle.

Of course, before you take any action, we recommend to see a doctor, because if the pain does not go away and becomes stronger, it is possible that you have problems with your back.