Ankle Sprains Unveiled: The Difference Between Inversion & Eversion

Ankle sprains are very common injuries which occur when the supporting ligaments of the ankle and foot are overstretched or torn. They are classified based on the direction of force that causes the injury, termed as inversion (rolling inward) and eversion (rolling outward) sprains. 

What Are Inversion Ankle Sprains?

Inversion or lateral ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls inward, causing the outer ligaments of the ankle to stretch or tear. Inversion ankle sprains usually result from the ankle twisting or buckling outward, for example when stepping off the edge of a curb or landing to the side with excessive force. 

Inversion sprains are the most common type, and are very common in soccer, netball, basketball, and other sports which require a high speed change of direction. These injuries result in pain, swelling, and bruising on the outside of the ankle, and can lead to chronic instability and recurring injuries. 

What Are Ankle Eversion Sprains?

Ankle eversion sprains, on the other hand, are a lot less common due to the thickness of the medial ligaments, and result when the foot rolls outward excessively. The inner (deltoid) ligaments of the ankle may sprain or tear, and usually results from twisting inwards, often from stepping on uneven surfaces. While eversion sprains are less common than inversion sprains, they can still cause pain, swelling, and bruising on the inside of the ankle.  

inversion vs eversion ankle sprain

How To Treat Ankle Sprains

Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment options are very beneficial for ankle sprains. Regardless of whether it’s an inversion or eversion sprain, treatment typically begins with the POLICE protocol: 

  • Protection: Minimise risk of re-injury by avoiding environmental risk factors, and potentially strapping the ankle to reduce the range of motion into the now unsafe range of motion. 
  • Optimal Loading: Avoid putting weight on the injured ankle if painful, and maintain as much pain-free load without increasing pain levels, managing rest and workload. 
  • Ice: Apply ice to the injured area regularly for 15-20 minutes, to reduce swelling and pain. 
  • Compression: Wrap/strap the injured ankle with a compression bandage/tape to reduce swelling and provide support. 
  • Elevation: When resting the injured ankle, have it placed above the level of the heart to minimise swelling. 

Physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment should resume from day one post-injury to minimise the length of time to return-to-sport/work. Rehabilitation exercises are imperative to strengthen the ankle and minimise risk of future injuries, while also addressing potential risk factors, which include but aren’t limited to ankle range of motion, hip control, proprioception, flat feet (pronation), high arches in the feet (supination), and previous injury (at both the site and elsewhere along the chain). 

Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment

Secure The Treatment You Need With Spinal & Sports Care!

With the right combination of physiotherapy and chiropractic therapy, individuals can find effective solutions to address inversion and eversion ankle sprains. Our therapists can empower you to address the root causes of ankle sprains, promoting better foot function and overall musculoskeletal health. Early intervention is key to improving symptoms and preventing long-term complications associated with ankle sprains.

If you live in Castle Hill, Parramatta, Wetherill Park or its surrounding areas and suffer from inversion or eversion ankle sprains, then you should reach out to our team at Spinal & Sports Care. We have fully qualified Chiropractors and Physiotherapists who are able to help treat your sprain. 

To learn more about inversion and eversion treatment options, please do not hesitate to call our team (02) 9683 1110. Alternatively, you can book an appointment to visit your local clinic by using the online booking form.