“RISE UP” Through the Pain

man pouring coffee beans into machine

Every day, Kent Island resident Noah Kegley arrives at Rise Up Coffee Roasters in Easton, MD around 8 a.m. As Partner and Head Roaster at Rise Up, it is Noah’s job to oversee all coffee production, handle green coffee contracts, control logistics of roasting the coffee, oversee online orders, and manage orders for wholesalers.

On a daily basis, Noah’s tasks include scooping coffee beans from bucket to bucket, lifting and moving a number of coffee bags weighing 152 pounds each, pushing tall carts, dumping large bins of coffee into the roasters, and doing a lot of what he calls “awkward heavy-lifting”. After years of heavy-lifting, Noah started noticing some neck and back pain. The aches caused his daily activities to become painful and uncomfortable.

man moving white boxes around warehouse

Because the pain started effecting Noah’s everyday life, he sought out advice from his friend and Physical Therapist, Brian Meilke, DPT; clinical director and senior physical therapist of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Easton clinic. Noah and Brian used to play against each other in college volleyball, and in more recent years, have played in local sports leagues together. After speaking with Brian about his neck and back pain, Noah paid a visit to Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Easton clinic.

man working on industrial coffee machine

Noah had never been to physical therapy before and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Once he arrived, he was pleased to be greeted with smiling faces at the front desk. Once Noah was called back to the evaluation room, Brian then began to assess his pain. In recounting his first day at Tidewater Physical Therapy, Noah says that Brian was very helpful by asking a lot of specific questions about what caused his neck and back pain, and what made it better or worse at any given time. It was clear that Noah’s neck and back pain were caused by his physically demanding job at Rise Up Coffee Roasters.

Brian led Noah through exercises, stretches, and manipulations that would reduce his current pain and prevent future pain from occurring. Noah says, “Brian was really good at teaching me stretching techniques that would keep me out of his office in the future.”

After working with Brian and the rest of the Tidewater Physical Therapy Easton team for about a month, Noah’s pain was dramatically reduced. In looking back on his experience at Tidewater Physical Therapy, Noah says, “Brian and everyone there were kind and reassuring during the process. Overall, it was a really good experience.” Although Noah was discharged after about a month of physical therapy, he still does his personalized stretches when he starts to feel similar neck and back pain surfacing.

man smiling with industrial machines in the background

Today, Noah and the rest of the Rise Up Coffee team are busy at work roasting up to 6,000 pounds of coffee every week. To ensure the safety and health of the Rise Up employees, there have been slight changes made to the equipment and the machines to make lifting easier and less awkward for the roasters.

When he’s not busy lifting heavy bags of coffee beans or distributing roasted coffee throughout the country, he’s busy spending time with his family. Noah likes to leave his weekends open so he can spend time with his wife, travel to watch his thirteen-year-old son play soccer, and watch his ten-year-old daughter participate in Mixed Martial Arts events.