I started having back pain about a month ago that seems to be getting worse instead of better. How can I tell if there's something seriously wrong with me?

The best way to answer this question is to see a medical doctor for an exam. You may need blood tests and/or X-rays to rule out a serious cause of back pain.

The doctor will also review your medical history, any medications you're taking, and look for signs of a medical problem. You didn't mention your age. The risk of something like cancer, infection, or fracture increase with age. A previous history of cancer is also a red flag.

Sometimes all that's needed is a short course of conservative care like physical therapy. But if you get worse with this type of treatment then the doctor must recheck you.