What most people don’t know about Australian comedian, podcaster, writer and television host, Wil Anderson, is that at only 43 years old, he lives every day in chronic pain.
Growing up on a dairy farm in Sale, Victoria, Anderson inherited what he identifies as the “… male mentality of not attending to those medical things in the way that I should.”
As he toured stand up shows around the world, Anderson used running as a means of stress relief.
“I loved running,” he told Mia Freedman on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast. “As a stand up always on the road, running’s just the easiest thing in the world.”
Wil Anderson speaks to Mia Freedman about living in chronic pain on No Filter. Post continues below.
But in his early 30s, a little over a decade ago, he began experiencing problems with his back and hips.
Anderson saw physiotherapists and chiropractors, seeking an answer as to why a fit, young man, would be facing this sort of pain following exercise.
He spent thousands of dollars attempting to uncover the root of the issue, but in retrospect, regrets never demanding an x-ray.
“I did all this unnecessary stuff,” Anderson told Freedman.
It wasn’t until a doctor ordered an x-ray, that a diagnosis was determined. In his early thirties, Anderson was suffering quite severely from osteoarthritis.
"Part of it's genetic," he explained. The condition is aggravated by kicking ball sorts or karate, and Anderson played AFL growing up.
"It starts to rub and tear away," Anderson said. "It's particularly bad in my right. I kick with my right."
The pain he'd been enduring was a result of bone rubbing on bone, and despite the sensation, Anderson had continued to jog every day.
"I was in excruciating pain... all the nerves and whatever. I'd have days where I just couldn't do anything," he said.