Viral pharyngitis the most common cause of a sore throat.
A sore throat (or throat pain) is pain or irritation of the throat. A common physical symptom, it is usually caused by acute pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat), although it can also appear as a result of trauma, diphtheria, or other conditions. A sore throat may cause mild to extreme pain.
Differential diagnosis 
A sore throat is usually from irritation or inflammation. The most common cause (80%) is acute viral pharyngitis, a viral infection of the throat. Other causes include other infections (such as streptococcal pharyngitis), trauma, and tumors. Gastroesophageal (acid) reflux disease can cause stomach acid to back up into the throat and also cause the throat to become sore. In children streptococcal pharyngitis is the cause of 37% of sore throats.
Analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) help significantly in the management of pain. Steroids are also useful in this respect. The Mayo Clinic advises gargling with salty warm water, resting the voice, and avoiding air pollution.
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- "Sore throat: Lifestyle and home remedies". Mayo Clinic/Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved 2010-07-07.