I would definitely get another opinion from a Board Certified Neurosurgeon or Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon...
Bulging discs that effect the nerves can absolutely be painful...so that is a ridiculous statement from that Dr..
While it's true that most people over 30..if you did an MRI on them..would should degenerative changes in their discs, (DDD), and some can even have bulging discs and have no pain at all...but for him to say that it 'can't' cause pain is untrue..
Are you still taking both the Lyrica and the Cymbalta? These are usually prescribed when there is any type of nerve pain as opiates are not as effective and go to a different 'receptor' in the brain...so maybe the next step is another Dr. could possibly change/up the dosage for those.
As well as looking into getting a round of steroid injections which can be very helpful to alleviate the pain and help the inflammation. That is really the key...to do as many modalities to release the nerve pressure...
Even light traction...in a Dr. office...can really help release the nerves from the pressure of the disc.
I truly think that finding another Dr. asap would be a good idea...The quicker that you can treat bulging discs the better to keep them from going to a total herniation...
SB and "the pup who snores loudly"
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha"))
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Dec 2006