People without low back pain have bulging discs.
Over 20 years ago we identified that abnormal discs could be found in up to 52% of people who don't have low back pain (not to mention arthritis and degeneration). In this particular study 27% even had protrusions, and 1% had an extrusion. Mind you these people did NOT HAVE low back pain, that's why they were selected for the study. Have a bulging disc and have pain? The bulge itself may not be the issue, it might just be the load you're putting on your back. It most likely is not because you have weak core (but that's another conversation all together).Please take those MRI's results with a grain of salt. There are a lot of people with bad MRI's who's backs are doing just fine. Make sure you find a clinician who treats YOU, not your MRI :).It is, and should be only one very small part of a big picture.
In 20 years of doing this I have seen many really bad MRI's. This in people who are doing great. Then there are people in tears from the pain who present normal MRI's to me and feel confused because "the doctor couldn't find anything wrong". If you have pain, and a normal MRI (or an abnormal one) it's all the same to me. I treat patients to get them out of pain, not to make their MRI "normal".