A sore throat accompanied by chest pain can be caused by several different medical conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a viral illness, or an upper respiratory infection. Treatment for these two symptoms depends on what is causing them. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to designing a treatment plan.
Coughing can trigger a sore throat and chest pain. Regardless of the underlying reason for the cough, if it is acute or long lasting, it can cause chest muscles to become sore and the throat to hurt. Conditions that can create such a cough include bronchitis, a cold, and allergies. Treatment for sore throat combined with chest pain brought on by one of these conditions involves treating the condition with medications, rest, and fluids.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is another common cause of a sore throat and chest pain. In this case, the sore throat is caused by stomach acids backing up into the esophagus. Chest pains are brought on by either the coughing that typically accompanies GERD or by heartburn, a hallmark symptom of the disorder. Treatment should include medication as well as dietary and lifestyle changes.
In cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chest pain may be due to restricted lung capacity. A sore throat can occur when coughing is present or may be caused by the oxygen tank use that many COPD sufferers are prescribed. Inhaled oxygen helps reduce breathing difficulties, but can also dry out the throat, making it sore. Treatment for COPD targets individual symptoms and promotes better lung functioning.
Asthma is capable of causing a sore throat and pain in the chest. When airways are restricted, breathing becomes labored, and neck and throat muscles can be overworked. This can cause a sore throat. Chest pain during asthma is typically caused by restricted lung and airway functioning. Treatment for the asthma, which includes the use of a rescue inhaler as well as preventative medications, usually eliminates the sore throat and the chest pain.
When allergies are the culprit, allergy medications can reduce coughing, which in turn eliminates the sore throat and chest pain. Some people develop a chronic cough when exposed to certain triggers, such as secondhand smoke or specific aromas, including perfumes. When the cause is not a serious medical condition and cannot be prevented, sucking on hard candy can help treat the sore throat. Without the throat irritation, a cough may not be present, which will help eliminate soreness of chest muscles. A persistent sore throat and chest pain should be evaluated by a medical professional to rule out more serious conditions, such as lung cancer or heart disease.