Hello Bonnie Lee,
Welcome to the board.
Yes, indeed, a bulging disc can cause nerve irritation in a variety of ways. Basically it can inflame the nerve or nerve roots which carry signals to the rest of the body. The lumbar nerve roots are located in the lumbar spine area and generally speaking, carry nerve signals to the hips, pelvic girdle, buttocks, legs and into the feet and toes. If you want specific information on which lumbar area refers to which body area, you can find information on DERMATOMES on a variety of websites. There are charts available that show that the L4-5 nerve root causes pain down the back of the thigh in most people. L2-3 generally relates to the front, top side of the thigh, S1 is the bottom of the foot, etc.
The pain runs the gamut--can be tingling, burning, "electrical," hot or cold, itching, stabbing, heavy, etc. Sometimes people think they've pulled a hamstring, or they have hip pain and think they have bursitis, but it turns out to be a disc in the lumbar back. There are other conditions that also cause this nerve compression such as stenosis (a narrowing of the central canal).
Please feel free to post with your questions and concerns. You'll find lots of good information on this board!