Fall 2011: I started playing tennis with a friend, who also was a complete beginner. Neither of us took lessons and have never taken any ever. We relied on Youtube and free online instruction. I used a 15+ year-old Wilson racquet my cousin lent me. It was on the heavier side and I continued to use the 15+ year-old strings. I played approximately 2-3x/month - excluding winter, since I'm in NYC - up until Summer 2012. Primarily what we did was "hit around" and I used a 2.0 level 1HBH to push/semi-slice the ball back. I experienced no elbow trouble, but did develop rotator cuff soreness/pain. I switched to a SW grip from Eastern, focused on not arming the ball, and modified some of my weight training exercises (I weight-train 1-2x/week with medium heavy weights) and it eventually disappeared. Summer 2012 - Spring 2013: The Wilson racquet's strings finally broke in July. I did a lot of research on racquets and settled on a Head Microgel Radical Midplus, which had an arm-friendly reputation. I played it stock with the Head Sonic Pro 16 poly strings it came with at 57 tension. I did so at a rate of 3-4x/month and improved my technique to between 2.5 and 3.0. No sign of arm trouble whatsoever. Spring - Summer 2013: I continued to play, but at a slightly increased rate of 4-5x/month. I started to feel shocks of pain to my elbow joint whenever I hit the ball with my racquet - the severity of which varied from a 3 to 7. No pain whenever not hitting, nothing the days in between playing. My friend told me to re-string because I had been using the stock poly strings for close to a year. I re-strung with PSGD at 54 tension, but it didn't help that much. I continued to play because I didn't experience any post-playing pain, and some days were better than others - there were some days I felt no to little shocks at all. Eventually though, it got to the point where I could only use a 2-handed forehand/backhand to play. Current: I re-strung with Weiss Cannon Explosiv at 60, added a Babolat RVS dampener and leaded it up a little at 3&9/handle to make it more stable. I played with it once - this past Wednesday and it felt fine with no elbow shocks, but for the 1st time, I experienced tenderness with rare moments of dull ache/pain at the tennis elbow area in the days afterwards. Perhaps not a full-blown or even a mild case, but I believe that I have the stirrings of tennis elbow. I function like normal 98% of the time with no pain, but I have that aforementioned tenderness whenever I do something like straighten out and lock my elbow. I would like some advice on what I should do next. One thing I've definitely decided is to take a break from any tennis or weight-training activities for at least 2 weeks, and also to buy the Thera Band Red Flexbar. Here is a list of things I've considered/thought about and I want to know how far I should I take it: 1) Purchase a ProKennex 5G with VS Natural Gut strings at 50-52 tension. Outfit it with a Wilson Shock Shield grip, OG, and Babolat RVS dampener. I'm unsure if all of this is completely necessary, but my stringer mentioned that a 18x20 string pattern on my MG Radical can be harsher on the arm. It's also still somewhat on the lighter side (11 oz. strung) and is only 2 points head-light. I am also of short stature, with thin wrists and bones and can be more injury-prone (runner's knee, rotator cuff I mentioned, lower back issues) than the average person. My elbow may be very sensitive, and if I played more than weekly with a much stiffer racquet, then my condition might be severely worse. 2) Stick with 2HBH and focus on correcting forehand technique (loose grip, shoulder turn, less wrist/more body, complete follow-through, hitting out in front). 3) Purchase Band-It brace. 4) Massage and ice daily.