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For the first time in my life I had tennis elbow this past summer. I couldn't isolate the reason why it happened.
To begin with I began playing much more tennis than ever before.
I also changed racquets twice (old school Pro Kennex Black Ace which is stiff to a babolat pure storm limited with poly strings).
From what I have read about tennis elbow any of these things contribute to your elbow pain.
Additionally my backhand was probably not technically correct.
The pain I experienced did not stop me from playing. However, a hitting partner's tennis elbow forced him to stop playing for a couple of months. Additionally my pain was more prominent after playing and only occassionally when hitting certain shots.
Based on the possible causes, I could take the following steps, get a racquet that is more forgiving, use natural gut, use lower string tension, do not use heavy practice balls, use correct backhand technique, or go to double backhand.
I decided to go with the double backhand. That seems to have worked enough for me. Now I can squeeze a tennis ball with my tennis elbow hand without any sign of having had tennis elbow.
By the way, there is tennis elbow which is a pain on the outside of your arm at the elbow and there is golfer's elbow which is a pain on the inside of your arm at the elbow.
I believe the inside pain is more associated with the forehand swing whereas the outside pain is associated with the backhand swing( the preceding observation is totally based on anecdotal evidence).
Basically you have to at the most rest your elbow(supposed only sure treatment). Otherwise you have to decrease the amount of impact on your elbow by:
1) using correct backhand technique/using double backhand
2) using less stiff racquet
3) using strings with less tension