Sprains & Inversions


Definition & Function

Definition: An inversion sprain involves over stretching the outside ligaments of the ankle (anterior talofibular ligament). Ligaments heal slowly and once compromised, may never completely bounce back. There are several stages of sprains, from a Grade 1 (mild stretch of the ligament) to a Grade 3 (severe- complete tear of the ligament).

Function: The ankle is comprised of multi-directional joints that seem to move in a circular motion. Ligaments are connective tissue that holds bone to bone and stabilize the ankle joint in a number of places.

Mechanism of Injury

The most common ankle sprain involves rolling to the outside of the ankle. It can be provoked by uneven ground, sudden changes in direction, inadvertantly stepping incorrectly off of an object or landing on someone elses foot in sports.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain with weightbearing and exercise
  • Swelling and bruising
  • The feeling of weakness or the ankle giving way
  • Stiffness after rest
  • Perhaps a tingling or numbness
  • At the time of the sprain, one may experience a 'popping' sound


  • Weak ankles or laxity of the ligaments about the ankle
  • Improper footwear
  • High arches or walking excessively on the outside of the ankle
  • Flat arches and unstable ankles
  • Previous injury to the ankle, like fractures or previous sprains
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Certain sports that involve quick changes in position

Pedorthic Treatments

Custom made Orthotics can be an effective method to reduce your ankle discomfort. They are able to redistribute and load the foot in a different way in order to decrease stress to the joints, ligaments and tendons of the ankle. Filling the contours of the foot will allow for a wider base of support and thus better balance. Pedorthists use interventions such as supporting your medial/inside and lateral/outside arch and deep heel cups for superior control and support to the ankle. Proper footwear is also pivotal to your recovery. Talk to your Pedorthist about proper footwear choices for you. Ankle braces are also helpful to support the weak joint as it heals.

Other Treatment

  • Physiotherapy
  • Strength and balance exercises
  • Ice
  • Compression of the joint with wraps
  • Rest
  • Taping
  • Ankle braces

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