(Last Updated on : 10/09/2015)
Hip Bath also known as a "Sitz Bath" is one of the most useful forms of hydrotherapy. This form of treatment involves a bath in which a person sits in water up to the hips. It is used to relieve discomfort and pain in the lower part of the body, for example, due to piles
, anal fissures, rectal surgery, episiotomy, uterine cramps and infections of the bladder or genital areas. It works by keeping the affected area clean and increasing the flow of blood to it.
A hip bath may be created simply by filling a bathtub with some water and sitting in it for a few minutes. Hip baths may either be warm or cool. For most purposes sitz baths with water are sufficient, though some people prefer to use saline water or water mixed with baking soda. The use of such additives helps to reduce infections.
Types of Hip Bath
A Hipbath is given in cold, hot, neutral or alternate temperatures, whereby the water temperature should be from 10-18 degree centigrade. The duration of the bath is usually 10 minutes, but in specific conditions it may vary from one minute to 30 minutes.
i. Cold Hip Bath:
If the patient feels cold or is very weak, a hot foot immersion should be given with the cold hipbath. The patient should then rub the abdomen briskly from the navel downwards and across the body with a moderately coarse wet cloth. The legs, feet and upper part of the body should remain completely dry during and after the bath. The patient should undertake moderate exercise like Yogasana, after the cold hip bath, to warm the body. Cool sitz baths are said to be helpful in easing constipation
, inflammation and vaginal discharge, and, in cases of faecal or urinary incontinence, in toning the muscles.
ii. Hot Hip Bath:
This bath is generally taken for 8-10 minutes at a water temperature from 40-45 degree centigrade. However, no friction should be applied to the abdomen. Before entering the tub, the patient should drink one glass of cold water and even a cold compress should be placed on the head. A cold shower bath should be taken immediately after the hot hipbath. Care should be taken to prevent the patient from catching a chill after the bath. The bath should be terminated if the patient feels giddy or complains of excessive pain. A hot hip bath helps to relieve painful menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, inflamed rectum or bladder and painful piles. It also benefits enlarged prostate gland, painful contractions or spasm of the bladder, sciatica
, neuralgia of the ovaries and bladder.
iii. Neutral Hip Bath:
The temperature of the water should be 32-36 degree centigrade and the duration should be from 20 minutes to an hour. Friction to the abdomen should be avoided. The neutral hip bath helps to relieve all acute and sub-acute inflammatory conditions such as acute catarrh of the bladder and urethra and sub acute inflammations in the uterus, ovaries and tubes. It also relieves neuralgia of the fallopian tubes or testicles, painful spasms of the vagina and pruritis of the anus and vulva. Besides, it is a sedative treatment for erotomanis in both sexes.
iv. Alternate Hip Bath:
This is also known as repulsive hipbath. The temperature in the hot tub should be 40 to 45 degree centigrade and in the cold tub 10 to 18 degree centigrade. The patient should alternately sit in the hot tub for 5 minutes and then in the cold tub for 3 minutes. The duration of the bath is generally 10 to 20 minutes. The head and neck should be kept cold with a cold compress. The treatment should end with a dash of cold water to the hips. This bath relieves chronic inflammatory conditions of the pelvic viscera such as salpingitis, ovaritis, cellulitis and various neuralgias of the genito-urinary organs, sciatica and lumbago.