Is my bulging or protruding disc on my MRI a herniated disc?

By definition; bulging, protruding, prolapsed, extruding, and even sequestered discs are considered herniated discs. The more important question probably is: does the disc impinge upon a nerve root and/or spinal cord? Of coarse, whether or not the bulging or protruding disc is of significance also depends on the patient’s symptoms. Is there pain radiating down the arm or leg, is there numbness or weakness of an extremity, and /or is there dysfunction of bladder or bowel? Of course, always ask your physician to better explain your MRI, if you do not understand the terminology.