Ray Harding has been practicing Podiatry in Sydney for over 40 years. His career changed dramatically when Biomechanics and Orthotic therapy was introduced from America in the 80s. Ray embarked on a post graduate education program and was one of the first Podiatrists in Australia to convert his practice to solely biomechanics and orthotic therapy.
Ray has continued his education in the area of Sports Medicine and Paediatrics and now lectures extensively on lower limb biomechanics, functional assessment and casting techniques for prescription orthotic manufacture. He has a regular succession of Podiatry students on clinical placement at Narrabeen.
In 1988 Ray was one of the founding partners in the Running Clinic at North Sydney recruiting the services of some of Sydney’s foremost Podiatrists to address the problems caused by the running boom.
In 1993 Ray was invited to move his practice to the Narrabeen Sports Medicine Centre to work with some of Australia’s best Sports Physicians, Orthopaedic Specialists and Physiotherapists. He works in collaboration with these other health professionals to bring the highest level of assessment and treatment of lower limb pathology. Treating athletes of all ability, both professional and recreational, Ray also enjoys helping children with growing problems and those associated with sporting activities, not to mention the aging community with its increasing demands on community services in a bid to remain active and healthy.
As well as utilising the latest technology to assess and treat his patients, including pressure plate and treadmill video gait analysis, Ray is able to use the athletic running track at the Sydney Academy of Sport for real time assessment of running style, technique and dynamic efficiency. For orthotic manufacture Ray uses a cad-cam laboratory and a scanning camera which replaces the need for taking plaster casts of the feet, though these are still used for the manufacture of Richie Braces.
The orthotics are ground to prescription by a computer controlled drilling gig from solid plastic blocks. This makes them super light and thin, but very strong. For football boots and those needing softer, flexible orthotics or less control, Ray uses EVA orthotics made by the cad-cam laboratory or premade Formthotics.
Ray has compiled a list of Recommended Sports Shoes to help other health professionals and their patients, as well as members of the public, to choose the best shoe for their needs from the hundreds on offer. This list is updated every six months from information provided by the shoe companies and their representatives, retail outlets and feedback from athletes.
Ray is the immediate Past President and Fellow of the Australasian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM) and a member of Sports Medicine Australia (SMA). He attends their conferences on a regular basis. Ray is a Past President of the Australian Podiatry Association NSW and Past President of the NSW Podiatrists Registration Board, a position he held for over fifteen years. He also held the position of Chairman of the Registration Board Professional Currency Committee which instigated and managed the mandatory continuing education requirements for the Podiatry profession. He was also one of the founding directors of the Australian Podiatric Biomechanics Association.
Ray has played a variety of sports including competition squash, tennis and golf. Unfortunately, following a knee injury from skiing at age 16 and a more recent knee injury when sailing, and surgery to both knees, Ray is confined to golf, bush walking and working out in his home gym. These problems, however, do permit him to sympathise with many of his patients who consult him with similar problems.