Before medication there are a few things you will want to consider when you have a viral throat infection. There are some things to avoid with a sore throat as they could further aggravate it. There are also some practices that can help with the pain and help get rid of a sore throat.
Things to avoid:
Smoking will further irritate your throat and only make it worse. Alcohol/Caffeine will further dehydrate you, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do when you have a viral throat infection.
Drink plenty of liquids. Warm drinks such as tea can help sooth your throat. It is said that mixing a tablespoon of honey in with your warm tea can help a sore throat.
Eating soup can also help sooth your throat.
Gargle with warm salt water.
Rest will help your body fight off the infection. While your awake your body has much more to do. When you sleep your body can focus on fighting off the infection, getting rid of your throat infection faster.
Humidifiers and vaporizers create a mist that can help relieve the irritation associated with the swelling of the throat. If a humidifier or vaporizer is not available you can always turn on a hot shower and sit nearby.
Painkillers are a good way to help rid yourself of the pain, fever, and swelling often accompanying a throat infection. NSAIDs such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen help decrease any pain, fever, and swelling you may experience. Ex: Advil or Aleve
Acetaminophen will help out with the pain and the fever, but, unlike NSAIDs, acetaminophen will not help out with swelling. Ex: Tylenol
Decongestants can help with a sore throat if the sore throat is accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose, which may be the cause of the sore throat. Ex: Sudafed or Afrin
Throat Lozenges can help sooth the irritation caused by a sore throat. Ex: Halls or Sucrets