I think it is pretty common for symptoms to change around a little bit. Have you been eating differently due to the holidays? More stress? Less sleep? Could it be something else unrelated to GERD? When I have the back or chest pain, something that helps me is to lie down with a heating pad and just read a magazine, book or watch a movie--even if you can only do this for 15-20 min. For a day with more time, a massage can do wonders to help "reset" everything.
Last year, when I had the throat swelling and soreness I did take Aleve 600mg x 2x day. This was OK'd by my doctor as I was in a lot of throat pain--it helped a lot, but as a gerd person it can be risky, so you could check on this. Gargling with warm salt water helped a lot too--it is supposed to help heal the throat tissue. Also the UK version of gaviscon is very soothing--the licorice flavor is good. Being proactive with a nasal decongestant (the spray --OTC) can also help b/c usually the congestion follows the throat pain.
GERD is a bummer, for sure.