What was the most disheartening thing a doctor has told you about your symptoms? The first doctor I ever saw for my back pain was an orthopedist. The reason he was so disheartening is because the back pain really scared me and he didn't provide any answers. He didn't engage me at all and I felt rushed through my appointment. The only things he told me were fear inducing, while not providing any solutions or even a positive outlook. When he asked me to try some basic movements, he was so fearful when I tried to touch my toes, that it worried me. He made me feel like I was broken and we just had to 'wait and see'. I hate that he never even tried to hear me or even fake any empathy. My understanding at the time was that doctors were healers, and he taught me a harsh lesson that I would relearn again and again. He put me off of all exercise, other than physical therapy. Luckily, that didn't make much sense to me and after my therapy program ended, I resumed weight training and stretching on my own. I know now that those actions didn't help heal my back, but at least I didn't feel completely disabled. I'd rather be confused about my pain than accept being crippled. When I saw this same doctor a few months later, after physical therapy didn't work, he told me that most people have back pain (on some level) for life. A big part of my identity has always been being a big, strong guy. His attitude really scared me and his words ran through my mind for the next few years as I slowly became increasingly useless.