The greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) or trochanteric bursitis is a regional pain syndrome characterized by typical local tenderness over the trochanteric region. Recently this syndrome was found in hospital-referred, chronic low back pain (LBP) patients. To confirm the correlation between GTPS and LBP in different patient settings and to present quantitative data about associated clinical features, we prospectively evaluated consecutive LBP patients from a general practice (n = 40), an occupational health service (n = 124) and a rheumatology outpatient clinic (n = 40). GTPS was found in 25, 18 and 45% of patients, respectively and was associated with female sex and duration of LBP. Associated clinical features were radiating pain and paraesthesiae in the legs, tenderness of the ilio-tibial tract and aggravation of pain during standing for a short time, descending stairs, lying on the affected side and crossing legs. These observations demonstrate that GTPS is common in LBP and is easy to recognize on clinical grounds.