Diagnosing a hip problem begins with a physical exam and medical history.

During the medical history your doctor will ask you questions, such as:

What symptoms are you experiencing?
Are your symptoms worse after activity or rest?
Are there certain activities that make them worse – or better?
How long have you been experiencing hip symptoms?
Did you recall having an illness or accident around the time your symptoms began?
Are you experiencing symptoms in any joints besides the hip(s)?
Do any of your family members have arthritis or other hip problems?Do you have other medical problems that could be causing your symptoms?

During the physical exam your doctor will look at and touch your hip and other joints, if you are experiencing any problems with joints besides your hip joint. Your doctor will be looking for areas that are tender, painful or swollen, as well as indications the joint may be damaged.  Your doctor also may ask you to stand up and move your hip joint. This will show the range of motion on your hip or how well you can move it. Depending on the findings of the history and exam, your doctor may order lab tests or imaging tests to help make or confirm the diagnosis.