Most people will suffer from back pain at least once in their life. It is only occasionally that people need treatment for this.
As with all things prevention is best. Staying in good physical condition and not performing strenuous activities without being accustomed to it is the best way.
Knowing the proper mechanics of lifting and having good flexibility of the hamstrings and good strength of the abdominal muscles is important.
Being overweight and smoking are some of the risk factors.
If the pain persists for over two weeks, results in weakness, or loss of bowel or bladder function then it is important to seek urgent medical attention.