Sounds similar to what I went through for a long time; 5+ years, off and on. It’d flair up, then I’d take a break, only to get back to bench press, and have it happen all over again. About a year ago I went on an all out assault to fix this on my own. Doctors always just said I needed to start doing more rotator cuff exercises, which I was already doing. I just felt the doctors where rushing me out of the office and calling out “NEXT”. I just needed to find a way to get healthy again, before giving in and spending the money for an MRI on both shoulders.
First, I went and purchased a high quality ice pack for my shoulders. I ended up with one similar to this: http://www.icewraps.net/shoulder-ice-wrap--upper-arm-ice-wrap-original-model.html I iced the hell out of it while I wasn’t working out, especially after workouts, regardless if it hurt or not. Then, I went and got a TENS machine and starting using that at the same time I iced. I’m not a doctor but as an NCAA athlete, my trainers were always sticking these on me, so I thought why the hell not, for $50! Both icing and the TENS, I feel, helped a great deal. However, the single best thing I found was an article on EliteFTS.com.
I started doing this series, daily, and almost immediately felt a difference. I started doing this back in September, I believe, and still do it now; it’s part of an almost daily routine. I have almost NO shoulder pain anymore. Every so often I’ll get a twinge or a light pain in there, but it’s no where near what it once was. Most nights I lost sleep for the pain. Another thing I started doing on shoulder and chest days is increasing my warm ups. For a long time a warm up to me on a bench day was
135 X 20
185 X 10
225 X 8
GO LIKE HELL
That’s just not enough, I’ve found.
I stopped doing that. Now, I jump on the cables and do light cable flies for 5 X 15-25, with light weight, and really squeeze, and feel the weight/muscles work. I’ll break a darn good sweat with my warm up. Afterwards, whether shoulder press or bench, I will then do some light sets to feel and gain a rhythm in the exercise, then increase weight from there until I reach my working sets. For a while, I stopped bench pressing all together because I knew that was the culprit to my shoulder problems. However, I now believe, and have convinced myself, I was my own culprit for doing things to not protect my shoulders. Sorry for the long read, but thought I could help. Good luck.
P.S… as mentioned above, I also have recently incorporated foam rollers as well. I figured it can’t hurt.