I'm a 30 year old male who has worked physically demanding jobs for pretty much my entire working life along with playing sports all throughout grade school. I've been doing A/C work for the past 7 years and I think all of that has finally caught up to me. The past year alone, I've had 4 different occasions where I've had lower back issues with the most recent and worst case happening this past Saturday. Something as simple as walking up and down a ladder can trigger this pain. There are instances where I've lifted 80lbs+ parts and have had no issues! I've had x-rays done and I'm still waiting for the results but, I don't believe I can carry on with this career for the next 25+ years. It's a great field to be in money wise and the fact that I get to work alone the majority of the time is a huge plus but, there is no way I can continue taking days or even weeks off to keep recovering. It's also been 1 week since this happened and while I've recovered a lot, I can still feel the pain. I'm not even sure what I'm going to do for next week.
I've taken plenty of different college course after I finished high school as I was always undecided. I was always interested in the IT field and even gotten several college certifications in the past but, for whatever reason, I never perused that career path. Other than that, I really have nothing to fall back on and feel that I may have to start from scratch. I live alone and really have no one to vent to or even get advice from, so I'd really appreciate any feedback from you guys. I'd really like to stick to something where I can continue working alone if possible but I imagine the jobs out there which use that as a job description are pretty limited. I thought about starting my own A/C business but I'd rather do this as side work rather than start an actual business. I may try to go back to college and check out some of their IT courses to see if I can try to pick up where I left off but, I feel like I've been out of the tech loop for too long and that it may be too late for me. At 19-20, I was able to pick up whatever they threw at me but I don't know if I have that in me anymore.
I've been stressing about this all week. What do you guys think?