I was doing side-lying external rotations with a light dumbbell when, on my sixth or seventh rep on my third set, I heard a quiet popping sound. My shoulder burned with pain and I instantly dropped the weight because of muscle failure. This was a month and a half ago. I took a couple of weeks off, and then tried to slowly start doing pullups and such. The dull, almost itchy pain continued so I stopped doing upper body stuff entirely. I tried doing a little bit with grip training a few days ago after a month of no upper body work, and now my shoulder has hurt pretty consistently for a couple of days.
The pain is located specifically along my left posterior deltoid / teres minor area. I’ve been lifting for only about four or five months.
What exercises can I do without hurting my rotator cuff (because if I can’t lift weights, I’ll get seriously depressed)? What do you think the time frame for healing is? And what can I do to avoid this in the future?