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What Are the Most Common Causes of Sore Throat and Chest Pain?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease and bronchitis are often the causes of both sore throat and chest pain, though other respiratory conditions can cause similar symptoms.
Physicians use chest radiography to look for signs of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or pleurisy that can cause chest pain and coughing.
Stomach aches are one symptom of strep throat.
Smoking can cause a sore throat and chest pain.
Getting antibiotics from a doctor may be necessary.
Sore throat pain caused by strep bacteria can cause chest pain if the infection spreads, so antibiotic treatment is important.
Chronic bronchitis can cause chest pain and a sore throat.
Article Details
  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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Sore throat and chest pain are commonly caused by acid reflux disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and bronchitis. Other conditions that can cause these symptoms are pneumonia, a streptococcal infection otherwise known as strep throat, and a lung ailment called pleurisy. Although each of these conditions may have similar symptoms, they are all different and unrelated in terms of general treatment. Asthma can often cause chest pain and discomfort, but rarely causes a sore throat unless the individual is suffering from a bad cough.

GERD can cause pain and soreness in the throat due to harsh acid content from the stomach that can travel up into the esophagus. Over time, the acidic content from the stomach can cause damage to the esophagus, resulting in extremely painful sore throat and chest pain. Typically a chronic illness, GERD can be managed by certain medications and diet.

Some forms of viral or bacterial pneumonia can cause a sore throat, and most types cause chest pain. Inflammation of the lungs can often cause a dull ache or sharp upper or lower chest pain. In severe cases of pneumonia, the lung can collapse, causing a serious or even life-threatening situation.

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A condition affecting the lungs known as pleurisy can sometimes cause sore throat and chest pain. The major difference between this condition and pneumonia is that pleurisy is not an infection of the lung, but an irritation of the layers or sheaths that cover the lung tissue. In some circumstances, it may be difficult to tell if the chest pain is a result of existing pneumonia or pleurisy. A chest x-ray may be recommended in such a case.

Strep throat is a common ailment in school-aged children. Adults can develop strep as well, typically contracting it from an infected individual or by touching a contaminated surface. Treatable with antibiotics, this throat infection typically starts with a sore throat, fever, and body aches. Chest pain is typically not as common, but can occur if the infection spreads, however.

Chronic bronchitis, which is a lifelong or recurring condition, can often cause sore throat and chest pain. This is generally from a deep cough and inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Smokers are prone to this condition and over time may develop a constant cough, also known as "smoker's cough." Hoarseness, with or without a sore throat, is common in individuals who have acute bronchitis. This typically lasts for several weeks.

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Discuss this Article

kylee07drg
Post 6

The sore throat and coughing that I get when I have bronchitis are unbearable! Bronchitis is difficult to get rid of, and I usually have to have a doctor's help.

If it isn't bacterial, then all the doctor can give me is codeine cough syrup to help me sleep and an expectorant. All the coughing makes my chest, stomach, and sides sore from the effort, and my poor throat is torn up!

I have had bacterial bronchitis before, and antibiotics help with this. I was glad to find out that it was the kind that medication could cure, because fighting it alone is rough and takes weeks.

DylanB
Post 5

My aunt gets a sore throat, fatigue, and a sore chest from her smoker's cough. She has smoked for over thirty years, and she has a chronic cough.

It sounds like her lungs are rattling when she breathes. She can't have a conversation without hacking for several minutes. I feel sorry for her, because I know that it has to hurt.

feasting
Post 4

@OeKc05 – If you have a sore throat with no fever, then you don't have strep. I always get a fever of at least 100 degrees with this.

Also, it is the worst sore throat you will ever experience. Within hours of feeling that your throat is starting to get sore, your throat will become so swollen that you will barely be able to swallow your own saliva.

I once got antibiotics for strep that didn't totally do away with it, and the infection spread to my chest. I got a terrible cough, and I had to go back for some different antibiotics.

Also, I got a steroid shot and a dose pack of steroids. Strep is tough, so your body needs a big boost to kick it.

OeKc05
Post 3

How can you tell if you have strep throat? I often get a sore throat and chest congestion due to allergies, so I'm used to it. I want to be able to tell the difference.

Alchemy
Post 2

I have a question about heart attacks for anyone who wants to answer. Why are heart attacks associated with chest pain and low blood pressure, when high blood pressure can cause a heart attack? Additionally, can taking blood pressure medication cause a heart attack? Would it be possible for the blood pressure medication to lower someone’s blood pressure too much? What happens when your blood pressure medication doesn't bring down your systolic pressure that much, but lowers your diastolic below ideal? Should someone who has only borderline high blood pressure be prescribed blood pressure medications, or is it okay for that person to try diet or exercise changes?

cougars
Post 1

I have been reading a lot of literature lately about acid reflux, GERD, and constant chest pain. From what I have read, doctors and health professionals are cautioning people to go to a doctor to have tests done to make sure that the chest pains are related to GERD and Acid Reflux. One of the papers I read said that people were often associating minor chest pain with these ailments when in fact they were miniature heart attacks.

The symptoms of GERD and acid reflux are very similar to a heart attack, and the paper stated that patients who have continual untreated miniature heart attacks are much more likely to have a massive heart attack or stroke in the near future. To summarize the main points of the article, patients diagnosed with either of these conditions should be checked for cholesterol, hypertension, and other heart related ailments.

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