How do you know if back pain is transient or permanent?

Difficult. It is really hard to know. The majority of back pain episodes go away after a few weeks even without treatment. Some people have recurrent episodes several times a year and others have a flare up once a year or less. When people do not recover in between back pain flare-ups we start to become concerned about the possibility of chronic pain. Even if this occurs, there are many things that can help.